Jaggers settle on annulled marriage

MICK JAGGER and Jerry Hall reached what their legal minders called an amicable settlement in their pounds 30m divorce case yesterday, sparing themselves an expensive, bitter and potentially embarrassing court battle.

Although terms of the deal are secret, both sides claimed satisfaction. In the end, their appearance this week with their children in France, and a posed kiss at the premiere of Rogue Trade last month, were more significant than first realised.

In a statement after a private High Court hearing in London, their lawyers said the couple would remain friends. "Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall ... amicably and formally agreed to separate ... and to obtain an annulment. A mutually acceptable legal and financial settlement has been reached ..." The statement added: "They will always be linked through the ... love they have for their four children and their determination to both play their full part as parents."

But behind the cordial words their lawyers will have been forcefully making their points. Against Hall's financial claim, rumoured to be pounds 30m, Jagger's lawyers would have argued that their Hindu wedding in Bali in 1991 was invalid.

Lawyers said use of the word "annulment" in the announcement seemed to imply the couple had agreed to the marriage being declared null and void, rather than to a divorce. This would mean the marriage never existed in English law, which would have substantially reduced Hall's claim.

She had been seeking custody of the children but there is no mention as to what kind of custody and access agreements were reached.

Hall, 43, started proceedings in January after learning that the Brazilian model Luciana Morad, 29, was pregnant after a fling with Jagger, 55.

Jagger has a big share in the Rolling Stones industry. His fortune includes four properties worth millions. His annual income is estimated at pounds 12m. Hall wanted her sole name on the deeds of their mansion in Richmond upon Thames, south-west London.

Her original petition cited "repeated" adultery but if press cuttings on Jagger's conquests are only half-true, the more appropriate word would seem to be "obsessive". His bedpost is not so much notched as whittled to a fine point. When Hall left the singer Bryan Ferry in 1977 for Jagger, he was married to Bianca Jagger. They divorced in 1979 but Jagger was by then already being linked not only to the Texan model but to the heiress Catherine Guinness and Lord Longford's granddaughter, Natasha Fraser. By 1982 he was spotted with the New York clubber Gwen Rivers and the singer Nadine Expert. He continued to collect models throughout the Eighties, and months after his wedding to Hall he was reported to be romancing the model Lisa Barbuscia, 29.

He then went on holiday to Thailand with the model Carla Bruni, 38, in a move that provoked Hall to move out and threaten divorce. She threatened divorce again in the mid-Nineties but this year she was serious.

Battling Lawyers

The Jaggers' much trailed court battle was set up as a David and Goliath clash between Jerry Hall's divorce specialist, Sandra Davis and the little-known tax lawyer, Joyce Smyth, representing Mick Jagger.

Ms Davis is credited as the lawyer who helped secure Princess Diana's pounds 17m divorce settlement. She has a reputation as a tough but astute negotiator. Recently she has been gaining a reputation for being involved in child abduction cases. She has two children and heads the family law department at one of the leading City law firms, Mishcon de Reya. As one of the "names" in family law practice she is a member of an unofficial "magic circle" of lawyers who command the highest fees.

In contrast, Ms Smyth has little matrimonial law experience. She is the Rolling Stones' tax lawyer, and has known Mick Jagger and his family for 10 years. When she left her practice with a large City law firm in 1997 to set up a two-partner firm, Smyth Barkham, Jagger was one of the clients who followed her. However, even in tax lawyer circles she is little known. Also a mother of two, she not only knows Jagger's children well but has an intricate knowledge of his finances and business dealings. Rather than find a high-powered divorce lawyer, Jagger has decided to rely on Ms Smyth and not reveal details of all his commercial and personal arrangements to another lawyer.

Some lawyers argued that the question mark over the legal validly of the 1991 Hindu marriage gave Jagger a strong hand in the negotiations, thus allowing him to resist the temptation to instruct a matrimonial specialist.

While the focus of the legal battle has been on the two women solicitors the two male barristers would have also played an important part. Jerry Hall was advised by Nicholas Mostyn QC while Mick Jagger had Tim Scott QC.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'