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Pitt and Jolie divorce will see £308m carve-up

Lawyers to pocket huge chunk of the stars' fortune

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Published 22/09/2016

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt together last year
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt together last year
Their divorce papers

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could be stung by millions in lawyers' fees and a Brexit slowdown in property prices as the couple prepare to carve up their £308m fortune as part of divorce proceedings.

Ms Jolie filed for divorce from Mr Pitt on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences.

Rupi Rai, a principal lawyer in family law at Slater and Gordon, said that while costs for the divorce may vary, they could spiral into the millions.

"If it's an acrimonious divorce, we're talking millions of pounds," she said.

A "straightforward" separation could still cost the couple upwards of £100,000, with Ms Rai adding: "The more amicable, the cheaper the divorce.

"It's different from the 'Mr and Mrs Miggins' divorce. They'll have very good divorce lawyers, which affects what people pay."

Ms Jolie will reportedly be represented by powerhouse lawyer Laura Wasser - known as the 'Disso Queen' for her role in dissolving marriages for Hollywood's A-list stars.

Ms Wasser has represented high-profile clients including Johnny Depp, Kim Kardashian, Stevie Wonder and Britney Spears and reportedly charges $850 (£652) an hour, requires a $25,000 (£19,000) retainer, and rarely represents people who have less than $10m (£7.7m).

Without confirmation of a prenuptial agreement, teams of lawyers could be set to work on settling the couple's finances and the custody of their six children - three adopted and three biological - which would also impact the final settlement, Ms Rai said.

Yesterday, online celebrity magazine TMZ - which broke news of the split - reported that Pitt would fight for joint physical custody of the children.

It had previously been reported that Jolie only wanted Pitt to have visitation rights, but a source told the magazine: "There's no chance that's going to happen."

There are also questions surrounding the fate of Ms Jolie's and Mr Pitt's property portfolio, including the standing value of their UK home after Brexit.

The couple reportedly bought a home in Richmond for £10m in 2012, but it could fetch less than expected if it is sold off as part of the divorce.

Estate agent Savills forecasts that property prices in outer prime London, which includes Richmond, could drop as much as 5% this year, and fall a further 1% in 2017.

The gated, eight-bedroom Richmond mansion reportedly features an indoor pool and elephant-shaped hedges in the front garden.

It is expected that the stars' divorce could take anywhere from six to 12 months, Ms Rai added.

Meanwhile, Pitt's long-time friend, actor George Clooney, said the news was "a sad story" and "unfortunate for a family".

Clooney (55) looked taken aback by the news when asked about it by CNN during an event at the United Nations.

CNN's Richard Roth asked the actor what he thought of the news at the end of an interview.

A video shows Clooney saying: "What happened?", followed by Roth explaining that Jolie had filed for divorce.

"I didn't know that. Wow," Clooney responded.

"I feel very sorry then.

"That's a sad story and unfortunate for a family.

"It's an unfortunate story about a family.

"I feel very sorry to hear that."

He added: "This is the first I've heard of it."

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