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ASOS Founder has to Pay Ex-Wife £70 million after Divorce Battle at the High Court

Nick Robertson, the founder of online shopping company ASOS, is one of the UK’s richest men. When he and his wife split up she wanted £110 million of his fortune whereas he thought she should receive £30 million, claiming that both ‘non-matrimonial property’ and his ‘special contribution’ should be taken into account. ASOS was founded in 2000 and the couple married in 2004.

The High Court Judge however ruled that his wife was entitled to one third of his £220 million wealth, which included property in London, Oxfordshire and France plus luxury cars and boats. In relation to the special contribution arguments, the judge did not consider that the husband's founding of and entrepreneurial skill in relation to an internet shopping company, amounted to a special contribution.  He acknowledged that he was "talented, hard-working and astute", but felt that the husband was not "notably innovative [or] revolutionary".  The judge drew a distinction between someone who invented the internet or internet shopping and someone who spotted the direction in which the internet might travel and successfully exploited it. Further, he commented that the wife had been an excellent home-maker and to treat special contribution as "unmatched" would be "highly discriminatory".

The parties are thought to have accrued £500,000 each in legal fees during their divorce.

Please contact Alistair Dobson at Lawson-West if you would like any further information about divorce proceedings on: 01858 445 480.

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