Cruise line founder in expensive divorce battle

Torstein Hagen, the founder and Chairman of Viking Cruises, and his estranged wife Ellen-Karine are embroiled in a bitter and expensive divorce battle in the High Court in London.

The couple, who are both in their 70s, have reportedly spent around £10 million in legal fees, and Mrs Justice Roberts, who is hearing the case, has been told that the court hearing, which is expected to last three weeks, is costing around another £100,000 a day.

The total wealth that they are arguing over has not been disclosed, but Mrs Justice Roberts has said that a “very substantial” sum of money is at stake. Mrs Hagen is said to be seeking a half share.

Making matters worse, the couple’s adult daughter and son are also involved in the litigation. Lewis Marks QC, who is representing Mr Hagen, said that they had been “dragged” into a dispute about their prospective inheritance, and that as a result the family was in “a vortex of conflict”. A total of twelve barristers are said to be involved in the case, which is taking place in one of the largest court rooms in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mrs Justice Roberts has urged the couple to negotiate, in an attempt to reach an agreed settlement. This is not the first time recently that a judge has tried to persuade a couple arguing over finances to settle the case, rather than run up huge legal costs in a contested court hearing (and nor is it likely to be the last). In May Mr Justice Holman criticised a couple for spending a “crazy” sum on their divorce case, and urged them to negotiate.

If you are involved in divorce proceedings then you should make every effort to settle the matter by agreement. Family Law Café can help you find a lawyer who can advise and negotiate for you. To contact us click the Contact link above and fill in the form, or call us on 0208 768 2278.

Image: Viking Star docked in Istanbul, by JD Lasica, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

UPDATE: Family Law Cafe is pleased to report that Mr and Mrs Hagen have apparently reached a settlement. Details of the the settlement, which was agreed six days into the three week trial, will not be revealed.