How much is "genius" worth? That's the question a British appeals court will decide in the case of an American financier who claims he got shafted in a divorce settlement. Randy Work, 48, says a judge erred by granting his wife half of the couple's fortune of more than $170 million. The Telegraph reports the multimillionaire says his "special contribution" to amassing the money pot was not considered. He says he is due around two-thirds, given his money-making "genius" while working at the Dallas-based private equity firm Lone Star. At issue is whether an appeals court should make an exception to British law that usually leaves a spouse entitled to half a couple's fortune. In a ruling last year, a London Court High judge found that Work's performance was not "wholly exceptional" to building the family bank account.
The judge awarded estranged wife Mandy Gray half the couple's money because the two had been equal partners for 20 years, reports the Financial Times. The judge also took issue with the word "genius," declaring: "To my mind, the word 'genius' tends to be over-used and is properly reserved for Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein, and others like them." At one point during last year's hearing, he declared to Work: "I am not sure you and I are on the same planet." Work is now trying to have the 2015 ruling overturned. A hearing in the case the judge called a "Titanic battle" is set for February, with some $4 million already spent on lawyers. Both Work and his wife were born in the US, but they have lived in London since 2008. (The case is small potatoes compared to this divorce in China.)