Stephens Scown is one of the top family law firms in Devon and Cornwall with offices in Exeter, St Austell and Truro. Consistently ranked by the two major independent law guides – Chambers and the Legal 500, we are able to provide specialist legal advice on all aspects of separation and divorce including:
"This firm remains at the forefront of family work in the South West. It maintains three offices across Devon and Cornwall, all of which house lawyers with family law expertise. While matrimonial finance work is at the heart of the firm's practice, it also regularly deals with children-related matters on both the private and public side. High net worth individuals feature heavily in the group's client list, including members of the business and farming communities. The team is also commended for its ability to handle cases involving foreign assets, complex pension issues and large-scale investment." Chambers and Partners Guide 2009
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Damien Hirst likely to be spared a multi-million pound settlement, says top divorce lawyer
Devon-based Damien Hirst, the world’s richest artist, is likely to be spared a multi-million pound settlement following a split with his partner of more than two decades, because they were never married.
According to top divorce lawyer Liz Allen at Westcountry-based law firm Stephens Scown LLP, the fact that Hirst, 47, never married his Californian-born partner Maia Norman, 49, means that she is unlikely to qualify for much of his estimated £215 million fortune.
Ms Norman, who is mother to Hirst’s three sons, is now reportedly in a relationship with former Army officer andFalklandsveteran Lt-Colonel Tim Spicer, 59.
Hirst’s main home is a £3.5 million farmhouse near Combe Martin inNorth Devon.
Liz Allen, who is based in Stephens Scown’s Exeter office and specialises in high net worth divorce cases, said: “Damien Hirst’s fortune has been amassed during the time he has been with Ms Norman so had they been married she would most likely be entitled to around half his wealth.
“Even though they have children the fact they never married means she is unlikely to receive much by way of a settlement, unless some of that wealth is in joint names in which case she would be entitled to half, or solely in her name in which case it would be legally hers.
“Cases involving such wealth where the parties are not married are quite rare. It also highlights the fact that the notion of ‘common law’ marriage is a myth. You are either married or you are not, and in the absence of a formal cohabitation agreement any settlement between non-married parties will always favour the main breadwinner.”
Liz Allen is consistently ranked highly in theUK’s top two independent legal guides, Chambers and Legal 500, and is the only lawyer inDevonandCornwallto appear in the Citywealth Leaders List, an independent list of some of the best advisors in private wealth management in the world.