The former beauty queen wife of a millionaire Malaysian businessman has been seeking to have the couple's divorce hearings held in the U.K. so that she will receive a larger share of his assets, according to her husband. Shoppers in the Greater Manchester will have heard of the Laura Ashley chain, the fashion house where the Malaysian millionaire is the non-executive chairman. His wife has secured a ruling from the appeal court that their divorce should be heard in England.
The couple have been married for 43 years, since shortly after she was crowned Miss Malaysia in 1969. They have five children and, according to her husband, their family home was in Malaysia where he was based. The legal battle over whether the divorce should take place under Malaysian or U.K. law has run for three years and was finally decided when a judge in the U.K. granted a decree nisi.
is wife has been arguing their divorce fell under U.K. jurisdiction because the couple had moved to England before they separated and that their family home was located in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. The legal bills so far have amounted to £5 million, and the dispute regarding the divorce settlement has yet to begin. At stake is the division of assets estimated to be in the region of £440 million. Her legal team has said that following their client's wishes, they will now strive to vigorously resolve the financial issues of the divorce.
Once the financial needs of a couple has been met, the perceived precedent of U.K. courts is to divide the remaining estate equally between the spouses. When the division of significant marital property is to be reviewed by the court, a spouse may find it beneficial to consult a solicitor familiar with cases that involve complex asset valuations and offshore properties.