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£2 million divorce of charity founder couple

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A couple who founded a charitable organisation to save an endangered species of tiger is embroiled in a divorce battle that has so far cost them £2 million. The London-based couple may be known to Greater Manchester residents for their role in the Save China's Tiger charity project that is based in South Africa. The couple, who met in 1990, shared a love of the endangered animal and together founded the organisation in a bid to prevent its extinction.

The husband put £25 million into the project whose goal was to release into the wild tigers that were bred in captivity. The aims of the charity are now in danger as its assets have now become embroiled in the divorce. Although he earned millions during his time at Deutsche Bank, his wife claimed that the ex-banker had used funds from the charity to pay for the couple's luxurious lifestyle. Therefore, she said, she was also entitled to receive a share of the charity's funds as part of the divorce settlement.

The High Court judge hearing the case dismissed her claims, describing her as a liar, and ruled that the charity assets were not to be included in any settlement agreement between the couple. Now, after her complaints regarding the ruling, she has been granted leave to take her case to the Court of Appeal, and the decision as to whether the charity assets should form part of the couple's divorce settlement is once again under review. 

When an amicable settlement during divorce proceedings is not possible, a solicitor practiced in cases that involve complex asset division may be able to advise a client of the factors that a court will take into consideration when reaching a ruling. These may include the length of the relationship and the assets that each spouse brought to the marriage.