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FINANCIAL PROVISION/DIVORCE: Sorrell v Sorrell [2005] EWHC 1717 (Fam)

Date:29 JUL 2005

(Family Division; Bennett J; 29 July 2005) [2006] 1 FLR 497

The substantial issue was whether the yardstick of equality should be departed from on the basis of the husband's exceptional contribution. Bennett J observed that Lambert v Lambert [2002] EWCA Civ 1685, [2003] 1 FLR 139 lays down no test or principle. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 requires the court to evaluate the contributions of each of the parties. Lambert preserved the concept of special contribution. In Bennett J's judgment Lambert sent a strong message to litigants and their advisers that they could not expect routinely to run a case of special contribution successfully. Here the husband's contribution is capable of coming within the concept of special contribution as the husband does possess the spark" or "force" or "seed" of genius. The split of assets was made 60% - 40% in favour of the husband.