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Is your contribution 'special' enough?

The case law on special contributions shows the court has set the threshold inordinately high for parties seeking to deviate from equality, writes Lara Myers

23 December 2016

In the recent case of Robertson v Robertson [2016] EWHC 613 (Fam), the husband’s legal team attempted to persuade Mr Justice Holman that his role as founder and chief executive of the online fashion giant ASOS justified a departure from the sharing principle.

Although Mr Robertson had been the moneymaker in the family, his wife had been an ‘excellent homemaker and an excellent mother’, the judge declared, and both had therefore made equal contributions to the marriage. While the husband had been extremely successful in what he had achieved, it was in no way ‘extraordinary’. The judge commented that Mr Robertson had not invented the internet, nor had he invented internet clothes shopping. He had simply exploited the growing online fashion retail market. The judge felt that to differentiate between the husband’s and wife’s roles would be ‘highly discriminatory’....

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