Banker’s wife allowed to pursue millions in divorce top-up

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Oct 13, 2017
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The Court of Appeal ruled that Hayat Alireza’s contribution to her marriage had not been recognised

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A banker’s wife who won a £2 million divorce pay-out has been granted the right to seek several million pounds more so that she does not depend on her husband or “remarkably wealthy” father.

Judges in the Court of Appeal ruled that Hayat Alireza, 38, had been left in a “straitjacket” and was still beholden to her former husband, Hossam Radwan, 46. She had almost nothing of her own and no account was taken of her right to “personal autonomy” or of her caring role for their three children, Lady Justice Gloster said.

Radwan, her ex-husband, is a former Goldman Sachs financier worth up to £17 million, earning £350,000 a year in the City. But the mother’s contribution to their 14-year marriage, and her caring role for their three children, the youngest of whom is aged six, had simply not been recognised, the judge said.

Lady Justice Gloster said Ms Alireza’s £2m divorce pay-out “sits uncomfortably with contemporary mores and significantly impacts upon her personal autonomy”.

Radwan’s lawyers said that although he was “very wealthy”, he was “much, much poorer” than his former father-in-law and that ought to be taken into account. But the judge said that if the £2m ran out before she inherited Alireza would be “left with no capital of her own for many years to come”. Although she had been allowed to stay on in the couple’s £5 million Kensington home she would have to move out if her father died or she remarried.

Last year a divorce judge accepted that Alireza’s inheritance prospects from her father should be taken into account. However, her barrister, Robert Peel, QC, of 29 Bedford Row chambers in London, told the Court of Appeal: “In practice, the judge is placing on the wife’s father an obligation to ensure that the wife is provided for. There is no principle of law that a wife should become the responsibility of her birth family upon divorce.”

Agreeing, Lady Justice Gloster ruled that her father bore “no duty” to support his adult daughter when her ex-husband was also worth millions.

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