Researcher faces 'ruin' if heiress wins pre-nup ruling

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The Independent Online

A university researcher faces "financial ruin" if his former wife, an heiress said to be worth £100m, wins her battle to have prenuptial agreements recognised in the UK, the Supreme Court heard.

Nicolas Granatino took his case to the court after appeal judges slashed his divorce settlement from more than £5m to £1m, saying "decisive weight" should be given to the agreement signed before he married that he would make no claims on Katrin Radmacher.

Nicholas Mostyn QC, representing Mr Granatino, said that when Mrs Justice Baron originally decided the case in the High Court in 2008, she said the prenup agreement was void but not irrelevant, and its existence had reduced her award to the husband. This was £4.7m, plus money to buy a home in Germany to care for their two children, and payments of £35,000 a year for each child.

If his appeal is dismissed, Mr Granatino must pay back maintenance from his former wife together with court the costs. Mr Granatino, 38, is a biotechnology researcher at Oxford University. He was divorced from his wife, a German heiress to a paper company and reputed to be one of the richest women in Europe, in 2007. The hearing continues.