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12 August 2013

Wife awarded £54 million by judge - the biggest ever payout in a UK divorce

The award, in the case known only as M v M, beats the previous record of £48 million to Beverley Charman by insurance magnate ex-husband, reports The Standard.

Only brief details of today’s case, heard by Mrs Justice King, were available at the High Court where the former wife was represented  by Mishcon de Reya’s family partner David Lister.

The Charman award was made in 2006 after the husband had initially offered just £6 million out of the couple’s total assets of £131 million.

But today’s new record could be beaten soon by a former Miss Malaysia, who is claiming up to £500 million after splitting from her multi-millionaire husband.

Pauline Chai, 66, who lives in the couple’s former family home on a 1,000-acre estate in Hertfordshire, is seeking half the fortune of Khoo Kay Peng, one of Malaysia’s wealthiest businessmen. The case got under way in the High Court last month.

London has long been considered the divorce capital of the world for its high concentration of big-money settlements awarded to the poorer spouse in a split — usually the ex-wife.

Far bigger payouts have been made around the globe in uncontested divorces, including to Tiger Woods and Rupert Murdoch.