Bill and Melinda Gates have hired big-name lawyers to represent them in their divorce proceedings, two of which helped negotiate the split of Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott, according to reports.
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced their split via Twitter on Monday after 27 years of marriage.
“We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a joint statement. The two said they would continue to work together at their nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates is the world’s fourth-richest person, according to Forbes. Data company Wealth-X estimated his net worth to be at least $134.1 billion.
A petition for divorce, filed Monday by Melinda Gates at King County superior court in Seattle, Washington, obtained by TMZ, said their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
It also showed that they didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, which is a contract signed before getting married to specify the division of assets should the marriage fail. Instead, the divorce papers showed the Gateses had signed a separation agreement to divide their assets.
In addition, the papers showed they had each assembled a team of high profile lawyers to handle their divorce.
One of the lawyers listed as representing Melinda Gates is Bellevue-based attorney Sherri Anderson. She also reportedly represented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his split from MacKenzie Scott in 2019, which was the world’s most expensive divorce.
Meanwhile, the attorney who was said to have represented Scott in the divorce, Ted Billbe, is listed as one of the lawyers on Bill Gates’ legal team.
Ronald Olson of the firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, who is a director at Warren Buffett’s investment group Berkshire Hathaway, is also on Gates’ legal team.
Olson has worked on business matters with a number of other high-profile clients, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The attorneys cited were not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Breakthrough Energy were also contacted for comment.