Solicitor granted compensation on top of settlement in landmark divorce battle

A solicitor who “sacrificed” her career so she could care for her children has won a claim for “relationship-generated disadvantage” in a landmark legal battle.

According to reports, the woman, who sacrificed “possible partnership at a magic circle law firm”, has been awarded £400,000 in compensation on top of her divorce settlement.

The Cambridge-taught solicitor was fighting over £10 million in family assets with her husband of 10 years – a successful equity partner at the same international law firm she was destined to lead.

Handing down the ruling in the “truly exceptional case”, the Judge said there had been “relationship-generated disadvantage” as the woman had taken primary responsibility for the children.

“The husband’s career took precedence. I accept that it is unusual to find significant relationship-generated disadvantage that may lead to a claim for compensation but I am clear that this is one such case,” said Mr Justice Moor.

“I have come to the conclusion that an appropriate sum to award for relationship-generated disadvantage, over and above her half share of the assets, is the sum of £400,000.”

However, the judge clarified that, in most other cases, “the assets will be such that any loss is already covered by the applicant’s sharing claim. In other cases, the assets/income will be insufficient to justify such a claim in the first place.”

Experts say the ruling could have major implications in divorce cases where one partner has stepped back from a promising career “for the good of the family”.

The couple, who have two children and live in London, have not been identified for privacy reasons.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.