Randy Work (R) loses divorce battle with Mandy Gray (L)
Randy Work – a 49-year-old former top executive with Texas based private equity investment company Lone Star – said a judge did not give him a big enough share of a £140 million fortune.
Mr Work’s lawyers argued that his performance as an investor was so stellar that the usual principle of dividing assets half and half in divorce settlements should be put aside.
The titanic marital battle in the British courts has so far cost the couple £3 million.
After the case specialist lawyers said millionaires must show that they have a spark of money-making genius to persuade divorce court judges to give them the lion’s share of a marital fortune.
To my mind, the word ‘genius’ tends to be overused and is properly reserved for Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein and others like them
American born Mr Work said Mr Justice Holman, who concluded that Mandy Gray, 47, should get a half-share after analysing the case at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London, did not recognise the “special contribution” he had made to the creation of wealth.
He said he should get 61 per cent share and his estranged wife 39 per cent.
But three appeal judges dismissed his challenge today after analysing evidence at a hearing in London.
Randy Work said the udge did not give him a big enough share of the £140m fortune
Mr Justice Holman had said, in a ruling in March 2015, that he had to consider the “specialness” required before concluding that a contribution to marital wealth was “special”.
He said some judges had referred to a “special contribution” possessing the “quality of genius” in earlier rulings.
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But he said genius tended to be an overused word.
Mr Justice Holman had said: “I personally find that a difficult, and perhaps unhelpful, word in this context.
“To my mind, the word ‘genius’ tends to be overused and is properly reserved for Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein and others like them.”
The couple, both from the US, had begun living together in 1993 and were in their 40s when their 18-year marriage ended in 2013, judges heard.
They moved to England nine years ago.
Mr Justice Holman said they had been “two strong and equal partners” over 20 years and Ms Gray had been a “good wife” and “home-maker”.
He suggested that without her contribution, Mr Work, who worked for a Dallas-based private equity firm called Lone Star, would not have been able to “amass the wealth”.
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Mr Justice Holman had ruled that Mr Work could keep the £30m luxury family home in Kensington, West London, with its gym and swimming pool, and also keep an £18m holiday home in Aspen, Colorado, where the family went skiing.
But he ruled that Ms Gray who currently lives in a rented flat, also in Kensington, should have half the family’s assets.
He said while he was an “astute businessman”, she was a “highly intelligent” woman who had given up her job to follow her husband to Tokyo as his career prospered.
Appeal judges said Mr Work had failed to establish that Mr Justice Holman’s decision was wrong.
They said they agreed that the “use of the word ‘genius’ was unhelpful.”
Mr Justice Holman had heard how the couple split after Ms Gray had an affair with their “personal physiotherapist”.
Justice Holman concluded that Mandy Gray, 47, should get a half-share after analysing the case
He said they had spent nearly £3 million on lawyers during their ‘titanic battle” over the division of money.
After the case Jo Edwards, an expert in family court litigation, said wealthy people must show that they have an X factor to avoid the pot simply being split in two. Amy Harris, from law firm Slater and Gordon, agreed.
“This is something we see regularly with very wealthy couples where one party’s earnings far outweigh the other,” she said.
“In court, however, the likelihood of that argument being upheld is rare.”