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Wife may appeal despite £337m award


Financier Sir Chris Hohn has been ordered to give his ex-wife £337m in their divorce settlement

Financier Sir Chris Hohn has been ordered to give his ex-wife £337m in their divorce settlement

Financier Sir Chris Hohn has been ordered to give his ex-wife £337m in their divorce settlement

A financier's estranged American wife may appeal despite being awarded £337 million following one of the biggest divorce cash fights seen in an English court.

Sir Chris Hohn, 48, and Jamie Cooper-Hohn, 49, had fought over who should get what share of a fortune said to run into hundreds of millions of pounds at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this year.

Judge Mrs Justice Roberts has yet publish her ruling on the fight - although she has produced a provisional judgment which has been given to lawyers.

But the amount she has awarded to Mrs Cooper-Hohn emerged today at a private High Court hearing at which lawyers discussed a number of legal issues.

The award is thought to be the biggest of its kind made by a judge in England. Legal experts say it is "certainly" one of the biggest payouts to be pocketed by an estranged wife.

But lawyers for Mrs Cooper-Hohn indicated at the hearing that they were considering an appeal - and discussed with the judge how long they would have to submit an application.

And a lawyer representing Sir Chris told the court that "we are" anxious to "move on with things" but the "wife is not".

Sir Chris and Mrs Cooper-Hohn, who separated after being married for more than 15 years, had fought over assets totalling more than £700 million.

He said she should get a quarter of their fortune but she claimed she should get half because the wealth was created as a result of their ''partnership''.

Mrs Justice Roberts' calculations on the exact size of the fortune - and the exact percentage Mrs Cooper-Hohn will get - have yet to publicly emerge.

Both Sir Chris and Mrs Cooper-Hohn were at today's hearing.

Neither commented as they left court - although sources close to Mrs Cooper-Hohn indicated that she would want to examine the percentage she had been awarded before making decisions on future moves.

Mrs Justice Robert said that although today's hearing was in private, what had been said could be reported.

The judge finished hearing evidence at a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London in July.

Both Sir Chris and Mrs Cooper-Hohn gave evidence at the hearing, which lasted for around two weeks.

Mrs Justice Roberts allowed journalists to attend the trial but placed limits on what could be reported.

She said detail of personal or sensitive financial information relating to Sir Chris and Mrs Cooper-Hohn could not be published.

Sir Chris told the court: ''Over the long term I am an unbelievable money-maker.''

He said he was a billionaire and in the ''top 10'' career investors.

But he also told the court that he did not "really care about money" and said money did not bring happiness.

Sir Chris said he had visited the Philippines aged 20 and seen poor children and vowed that if he ever had enough money to help poor children he would.

And he said by his mid-30s he had been in a position where he could retire and raise money for charity.

Mrs Cooper-Hohn had told the judge that she worked long hours on behalf of their charitable foundation - and travelled.

She said they had met when studying in the United States - at Harvard near Boston. She said both had wanted to ''make the world a better place''.

Lawyers said despite their wealth the couple had not lived a ''jet-set lifestyle''. The judge said their way of life had been described as a ''Swatch'' lifestyle.

Detail of the couple's finances had emerged after an issue in the case was analysed by the Court of Appeal in June.

Appeal judges were given values for investments, pensions and properties that added up to more than £700 million.

And Sir Chris, knighted for services to UK philanthropy and international development, had submitted that he was the "key man", appeal judges said.