Tycoon Pierre Lagrange comes out – to face UK's most expensive divorce payout
Monday 05 September 2011
A top hedge fund manager is facing one of the most expensive divorce settlement in British legal history after telling his wife he is gay.
Pierre Lagrange, who is said to be worth at least £300m through running the firm GLG Partners, has sold his opulent London home on the road known as "billionaire's row" in anticipation that half his wealth could be claimed by his wife, Catherine.
A spokesman for GLG confirmed that the couple split last year after the Belgian came out to his family and friends, and he has since started a relationship with Roubi L'Roubi, a Mayfair fashion designer.
The Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has paid £90m for Mr Lagrange's 15-bedroom house in Kensington Palace Gardens, where his new neighbours will include the richest man in Britain, Lakshmi Mittal, and the oil magnate Len Blavatnik. But it is entirely possible Mr Lagrange will have to find another £60m to meet the financial demands of his split.
The current record is around £100m, granted to the wife of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The leading divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag said that the increasing frequency of such sums is raising eyebrows.
"There is a general concern that awards are too high and that the principle that has been in place since 2000 – of generally sharing equally no matter who earned it – is being somewhat stretched in the light of the huge awards that are coming through.
"The courts have said that these awards are bigger than anyone expected they would be. It would invite a re-evaluation of the straight forward 50/50 approach to marital assets."
Mr Lagrange can at least take some heart that a £150m payout would not be the biggest amount of money he has had to write off, having lost an estimated £265m during the credit crunch.
That did not stop GLG, a company that also gained from the financial crisis by short-selling Bradford and Bingley shares before the bank collapsed, being bought by a rival for $1.6bn three years later – a sale that saw the 49-year-old former Goldman Sachs man claw back much of his former wealth.
His wife is a leading donor to the Conservatives, having given the party £100,000 in the run-up to last year's general election, on top of a previous £50,000 gift. As well as giving money to cultural organisations, Mr Lagrange has also found the arts to be a profitable sector having invested in the films Avatar and Kick-Ass.
South Korea ferry passengers who were told to stay put 'got trapped' aboard sinking ship
Are beards attractive? Ryan Gosling says yes, but science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge and find out who's right
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness 'unqualified' to testify
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 5 Mrs Doubtfire 2: Robin Williams set to star in sequel to 1993 comedy
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...