It was the stunning High Court divorce trial that grabbed the attention of London’s financial high-flyers. When it was announced yesterday that Mrs Justice Roberts had awarded £337m to the estranged American wife of financier Sir Chris Hohn the gasps were audible from the Strand to the City.
The estranged wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, had fought over a share of Hohn’s estimated £700m fortune since the summer in a court case thought to cost millions.
Both parties are thought to be considering an appeal. Cooper-Hohn, 49, had sought half their assets, but Hohn, 48, offered a quarter. However, Hohn declined to comment.
It is understood that Hohn has launched a parallel case against Cooper-Hohn, alleging bribery and corruption.
Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Hohn, 48, is the son of a Jamaican mechanic of European descent who moved to Britain in 1960.
He met Jamie Cooper, a fellow Harvard graduate student from Chicago, at a party during his studies there.
They set up the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, which works to bring help to poor and vulnerable children in developing countries.
During the trial, Hohn told the court: “Over the long term I am an unbelievable money-maker,” adding, however: ‘I don’t really care about money.”
He also told the hearing that Chelsea Football Club had “overpaid” for Fernando Torres, who cost £50m when he moved from Liverpool in 2011. He said Torres, now on loan at Italian giants AC Milan, was now “worth nothing” and “useless” to the club.
The £337m sum is the biggest divorce settlement awarded by a UK court.