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Hedge fund manager's charity will pay £282m to ex-wife's new foundation after divorce battle

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 13/06/2017 By Olivia Rudgard, Social Affairs Correspondent
© Provided by The Telegraph

A hedge fund manager's charity must pay £282m to his ex-wife's foundation after one of Britain's most expensive divorce battles came to an end in a landmark ruling. 

Sir Christopher Hohn and his ex-wife Jamie Cooper got divorced in 2013, but the pair have continued to wrangle over a payment from a children's charity they set up together. 

Sir Christopher paid Ms Cooper £337m in 2014, which at the time was thought to have been the largest-ever divorce payout. 

Jamie Cooper © Reuters Jamie Cooper Now the charity, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, will pay £282m to a new cause set up by Ms Cooper in 2015, Big Win Philanthropy.

The former couple, both 53, who have four children, set up CIFF in 2002. It works to protect children in developing countries by methods such as strengthening laws against exploitation and investing in low-carbon energy. 

Related: 16 of the world's most expensive divorces
16 of the most expensive divorces

Jonathan Crow QC, representing Sir Christopher, said the payment would "set a poor precedent in that it would allow charitable funds to be used to resolve personal disputes between trustees," the Evening Standard reported .

But Sir Geoffrey Vos, chancellor of the High Court, approved the payment on Friday. 

In his judgment he said the payment would allow Ms Cooper to "devote her considerable talents to a charity with increased assets". 

He also said the grant would "bring a conclusion to this incredibly hostile dispute". 

She had also pledged to donate £32m of her own money to the cause were the payment to go through. 

Matthew Dontzin, whose firm represented Ms Cooper, said: "This is a well-deserved victory for Ms Cooper, whose life's work has become helping underprivileged children in the developing world."

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