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Solicitor says Gates’ divorce has lessons for all
12 May 2021

A leading solicitor today said that all couples facing a break-up could learn lessons from the $130billion divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates

The couple have announced they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage and have already signed a separation contract governing how their estate will be divided.

The split is said to be cordial with the couple pledging to continue to work together running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has spent billions of pounds on charitable causes.

Kate Rowley, a solicitor in the Family team at award-winning Midlands law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, said the agreement showed that good legal advice could be instrumental in keeping the ending of a relationship amicable.

“The Gates did not have a pre-nuptial agreement but it looks as if they have worked closely together with their respective legal teams to ensure they have remained on good terms throughout these negotiations,” Kate said.

“This is something we find is absolutely crucial in achieving the best outcomes for all couples going through this process – regardless of the size of the assets they might share.

“Getting early high-quality advice from professionals can be a really important part of an amicable settlement.

“Good lawyers will work to avoid an adversarial approach, bring a clear understanding of what assets are involved and help the couple reach an outcome they may have already discussed or highlight something they had not considered.

“Many members of the family team at FBC Manby Bowdler are members of Resolution, which actively works to avoid confrontation in family law issues. We are committed to dealing with any issues constructively and in a way that considers the needs of the whole family.”

Kate said couples with pre-nuptial agreements would also need to keep them under regular review.

“In any marriage of this length things will change over time. Any pre-nup entered into at the start of such a relationship would likely no longer be workable. If people do decide to enter into a pre-nup, both parties need proper advice from independent solicitors if it is to be upheld. Normally pre-nups are reviewed after five years or after children are born.

“And in cases where couples are self-employed and want to continue working together after a split, we can work in collaboration with our corporate department to make sure both parties are protected from both a matrimonial and a company perspective.”

If you would like to find discuss or find out further information you can contact Kate Rowley on 01952 211323 or kate.rowley@fbcmb.co.uk.

Meet Kate Rowley