Ecclestone ditches Withers for Manches in divorce

Ecclestone ditches <a class=Withers for Manches in divorce” />Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone has parted company with his divorce lawyers at Withers in favour of Manches’ Helen Ward, The Lawyer can reveal.

Ecclestone’s wife Slavica Ecclestone filed for divorce last November after being married to the billionaire for 24 years. She instructed Clintons partner Liz Vernon to represent her while Mr Ecclestone instructed Withers partner Mark Harper (, 21 November 2008 ).

It is understood that Mr Ecclestone made the move to Manches at the end of last week. The split from Withers is understood to have been amicable.

Heavyweight family lawyer Ward made headlines last year when she was instructed to represent Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna. While a cash settlement is believed to have been negotiated in that divorce, the celebrity couple are in ongoing negotiations over childcare arrangements for their two children.

The Ecclestone divorce could become the largest divorce settlement in history with Mr Ecclestone believed to be worth an estimated £2.4bn.

The previous record of £48m was set by Ward when she represented Beverly Charman in her divorce from insurance millionaire John Charman (, 24 May 2008 ).

Both Manches and Withers declined to comment.

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