From time to time we will post news articles and announcements relating to the Firm and about various legal issues that may be of interest to you.
On October 9th 2014, the US courts ordered Continental Resources Chief, Harold Hamm, to pay almost 1 billion dollars in divorce proceedings to his wife Sue Ann Hamm.
High Net Divorce
Mrs. Haam worked in her husband’s company as a lawyer and arguably contributed significantly to its growth. He was ordered to pay $975m dollars to his wife by the divorce courts. Although this seems like a great deal of money the Oklahoma Oil tycoon, Mr. Hamm in fact escaped lightly having regard to the fact that his stake in his Company is worth approximately14 billion dollars. As they had been married for 25 years, Mr. Hamm could have easily been ordered to pay 50%. Mrs. Hamm has now appealed the award. If the appeal is successful, a larger award could easily have a devastating impact on Mr. Hamm’s Company and possibly force the Company into liquidation, as he owns 68% and is a majority shareholder. When interviewed by Bloombergs Mr. Hamm was asked why he did not have a pre-nuptial agreement in place, he appeared to downplay its importance, had the parties signed one the payout would have been considerably lower.
Divorce & English Companies
English companies and implications of divorce English companies are equally prone to the legal implications of divorce, as they will now be considered as assets that need to be included in the fair distribution between couples divorcing following the English Supreme Court ruling in Prest v Petrodel  UKSC 34. This was a landmark case because prior to this a corporate veil existed to protect the assets of companies, which have a separate legal personality to its owners. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the corporate veil could be pierced to transfer ownership of disputed properties from Michael Prest’s Company, another oil tycoon worth £37.5m, to his wife because the properties were beneficially owned by Mr. Prest and his Company, which was simply holding these properties, albeit in its name, on trust for Mr. Prest.
If you would like to know more about how to protect your business or company from the legal implications of divorce, call 0203 540 6340 to speak to one of our expert divorce solicitors. Alternatively, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.