Stellar Contribution

Written by Sam Carroll

June 12, 2018

In determining how assets should be divided upon divorce both parties will often present arguments as to why a Court should depart from the sharing principle. One such argument is contribution based. To convince a Court to depart from equality it must be shown that the contribution of one party was ‘stellar’ or exceptional.

A US banker argued that he had made a ‘stellar contribution. He sought for a greater share of the matrimonial assets. In 2015 Justice Holman decided that the wealth contribution of the husband which totalled more than $300m in 10 years – was not “wholly exceptional” and rejected his claim to be a financial “genius”. Holman said “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 husband appealed the decision of Justice Holman and the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal. The wife was awarded half of the family’s $140million fortune.

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