Divorce For Wealthy Client

Divorce For Wealthy Client

  • Applicant: Mr. Wa
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Applying For: Dissolution of Marriage
  • Time: 5 months
  • Challenges:
    • Educating the client
    • Counseling the client was required
    • The case was fraught with emotion
    • Unusual for the firm to take divorce litigation case

BACKGROUND

Even the most reasonable people have to be pulled back from making terrible decisions every once in a while. That is unfortunately what we had to do for one of our long-time clients, Mr. Wa. Mr. Wa’s family is very wealthy, and they own more than a few hotel properties around the world. Mr. Wa’s wife cheated on him, and he wanted a divorce. More than that, he wanted to make her pay for hurting him. We have been serving Mr. Wa and his family for decades, and even though we do not take on litigation divorce cases like this one promised to be, he preferred that we be the firm to represent him in this case. We know Mr. Wa, under normal circumstances he is a great man, highly ethical, we would have only positive things to say about him normally. However, in this case, early on his temper had gotten the better of him. He wanted to destroy his soon-to-be-former wife with long, costly legal proceedings, he wanted to take out his frustrations on her using the legal system.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

That is not the way we do things, but thankfully due to the wide array of skills and people in our firm, we were able to counsel our client on more than just legal matters. Mr. Wa had to be walked back to the realm of sanity, and that’s what we did for him. We had to counsel Mr. Wa to get him back to the point where he understood that legally, to end things with a clean and clear conscience, he had to do things the right way. Divorce proceedings range from being done in a few short hours to taking several painstaking, agonizing years.

“A lot of things he wanted to do didn’t even make sense. But he wasn’t thinking clearly, of course. We were hired on as a second opinion, essentially as a second firm to review what the first firm was doing, but mostly we were there to counsel him, to get him back to a reasonable head space and help him make decisions he could look back with pride on 10, 15 years down the line. We want that for our clients, not decisions that may give them instant gratification but may not be in their best interest mentally or personally in the long run.” – Joseph Tsang, Attorney

When we got him in the right headspace, we showed him that divorce is already very expensive, and that her unconscionable actions have lost her a life of wealthy privilege, and that she’s suffering the already drastic consequences of going through normal divorce proceedings. We showed him that she would already be leaving with very little and it would be very expensive for her to do so. In many ways, we had to be his legal guardian. We had to come up with a plan that was best for him, explain why that was the best plan, and ensure that he and his other team of lawyers were able to execute that plan. And while we did not work for his wife, it was also the best plan for her. She had made a mistake, she had chosen poorly, but in no way were we going to make these divorce proceedings unfair to her. We did not want her or our client bogged down in a years-long divorce case if it could be helped because that is not a good place to be in financially, legally, or mentally. We also found another attorney that regularly handled divorce cases to do most of the forms and paperwork that came our way. We also helped Mr. Wa deliver documents to his second set of attorneys as well.

OUTCOME

We preferred to be the strategist and architects to the plan, and we didn’t want our client to suffer the costs of having two firms under his employ longer than he needed to. We devised a thorough strategy that would close out the case within six to seven months, we counseled our client back to the realm of reasonableness, and the other attorney was thrilled that he was not the one who had to teach his client what was ethical and legal to do in these proceedings. Because money was not necessarily an issue for Mr. Wa, the other attorney got to charge the same fees he normally does but we were on hand to handle the emotional work that a messy divorce case entails. Once it was clear that the plan had been agreed to by Mr. Wa and his other attorney, we stepped away from this case to ease the monetary burden on Mr. Wa. We had spent more than five months on his case, and it was resolved in less than two months after we had stepped away from it. Mr. Wa was happy he had not done anything rash, that cooler heads prevailed, and now he can move forward with his life, his conscious clear and free of sticker shock from what could have been a very messy, very expensive case.