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Archive for May 25th, 2008

West London Man 8: Audio version

George and Caroline went to a black tie supper party on Saturday. One of George’s ex-girlfriends, the wife of another guest at the party, told George that her investment banker husband was about to be fired in the next round of credit-crunch ‘re-structures’ and asked George if he knew a good solicitor who could advise her on the most efficient way to divorce to maximise her financial position.

George telephoned a partner in a City law firm, a close friend, to seek his advice. George had also read the article in The Observer by Amelia Hill: Divorce rush to grab redundancy pay-offs.

Ring ring… ring ring…

Hugo: Yes.

George: Hugo… It’s George. Sorry to catch you early on a Sunday. A friend of mine has a problem. Ex-girlfriend… husband an investment banker about to get Sugared…. wants some advice on how to maximise her financial position and divorce.

Hugo: George… no problem. Well, as you know, I’m not a family lawyer… but… I know where to find one find one for you. There’s an article in The Observer this morning about this very issue. Sandra Davis over at Mishcon de Reya who handle some pretty heavy divorces as you know – they were Mucca’s lawyers – told The Observer… and I quote: “When money looks like flying out of the window, love walks out of the door.” She said they’ve never been busier with stay-at home spouses asking what their options are. Another lawyer at Mishcon de Reya said… and, again, I quote “A trophy wife is aware she needs to get proceedings moving before he spends his redundancy and all the capital he has built up. But businessmen who lose their job often see it as an opportunity to head straight off to the divorce courts before they find a new job, so alimony payments will be based on their unemployed status.”

George: Bloody hell… What happened to love?

Hugo: Love? Nothing to do with it in some marriages, George. This article in The Observer is crammed full of family lawyers saying how busy they are at the moment…. here’s another one… James Stewart, a matrimonial partner with law firm Manches, said he has never been busier, but it is not just wives coming through his door. ‘In the last week alone, I have had two stay-at-home husbands inquiring about claiming the assets of their high earning wives.” George, I’d get your friend off to one of these guys. They’ll do the business for you.

George: Absolutely…. well… thanks for the advice Hugo. Phew…. scary stuff. Thank God Caroline doesn’t read The Observer..

Hugo: Quite… everything OK at your end, George? No sub-prime exposure?

George: No everything is fine Hugo… just fine. Position covered. I owe you, Hugo. Drinks next Friday… Mahiki?

Hugo: Sounds good… Did you hear that the Police and the council are testing every bar and restaurant in Kensington & Chelsea for traces of cocaine use?

George laughed: I did. Well no-one will need to fudge figures for that report. See you on Friday. Bye.

***

The Observer article went on to quote an anonymous blogger on www.hereisthecity.com explaining in painful detail why her husband’s redundancy from an investment bank has driven her to head for the law courts. I quote:

“It’s interesting how all these bankers have been writing in detailing their experiences and woes after being laid off,” she wrote, “How typical that they just think of themselves! How about the impact on their wives? Most of us didn’t sign up to share every waking moment with a down-on-his-luck egotist who spends his days moping around with a pitiful hang-dog expression and constantly relives past ‘glories’ in a feeble effort to retain what little self-respect he seems to have left.”

Excellent nonsense. Too many episodes of Sex in The City and Desperate Housewives?

West London Man 8: Audio version

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