Chris Hohn charity should make $360m grant after court docket ruling

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A charity arrange by hedge fund billionaire Christopher Hohn should make a $360m grant to his ex-wife’s charitable enterprise, the UK’s highest court docket has dominated.

The Supreme Courtroom was requested to rule on a dispute over whether or not the Youngsters’s Funding Fund Basis, which was co-founded by Sir Chris, ought to approve the fee to Massive Win Philanthropy, a charity based by his ex-wife Jamie Cooper in 2015.

CIFF, which has $4bn in belongings, was established by the couple in 2002 to assist kids in creating nations. Nevertheless, the charity turned tough to handle when their marriage broke down.

The authorized dispute arose after the couple agreed that in alternate for a grant of $360m to Massive Win Philanthropy, Ms Cooper would resign as a member and trustee of CIFF. 

CIFF needed to vote to approve this grant. CIFF had three members – Ms Cooper, Sir Chris and economist Marko Lehtimaki, who’s a college good friend of Sir Chris. Mr Lehtimaki is the one member entitled to vote on the switch of the $360m grant.

The long-running case has centred round whether or not Mr Lehtimaki needs to be ordered by the court docket to vote in favour of the proposed grant and whether or not the court docket might direct Mr Lehtimaki on how he ought to train his voting powers.

On Wednesday the Supreme Courtroom dominated that Mr Lehtimaki ought to vote in favour of the grant as a result of he was a fiduciary who shouldn’t be permitted to take a special choice as soon as the court docket had determined what was in CIFF’s pursuits. It additionally discovered that members of charitable firms have fiduciary duties and could be managed by the courts.

Sir Chris is among the world’s prime traders with a private fortune of $1.3bn and can also be one of many UK’s largest charitable donors. He and Ms Cooper, who met at a cocktail party whereas college students at Harvard College, finalised their divorce settlement in 2014 by which Sir Chris was ordered to pay $530m in one of many largest ever divorce awards within the English courts. 

In a press release Jaime Cooper, founding chair and president of Massive Win Philantrophy stated: “I’m extraordinarily gratified by the Supreme Courtroom’s choice. This can allow Massive Win Philanthropy to considerably increase its assist to African leaders pursuing formidable initiatives to enhance the lives of youngsters and younger folks.”

Leticia Jennings, companion at Bates Wells, who acted for Ms Cooper, referred to as the ruling one of the vital necessary charity legislation instances in years. “It has clarified many points referring to members of charitable firms and their duties in addition to resolving frictions present in firm legislation in the case of charitable firms,” she stated.

CIFF and legal professionals for Sir Chris didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

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