Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin, who is overseeing the high-profile divorce case in King County Superior Court in Washington, granted a motion that requested additional attorneys be added to the case.
Court docs obtained by Fox News on Tuesday stated that attorney Ted D. Billbe, who represented Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott during her 2019 divorce proceedings from the Amazon founder, will act as Bill Gates’ primary attorney. In addition, attorney Ronald L. Olson is performing Pro Hac Vice – when an out-of-state attorney is allowed to practice on a specific case — for these legal proceedings.
Olson is a named partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles and according to his bio, “counsels individual executives and boards of directors in a wide range of matters, including transactions, corporate governance and executive compensation” and has also been the lead partner in a number of high-profile litigations.
Meanwhile, Sherri M. Anderson, the primary counsel for Bezos in the dissolution of nuptials and disseminating of assets, is representing Melinda Gates in the divorce with attorneys Robert Stephan Cohen, Shannon Rogers Simpson and Bruce Birenboim performing on a Pro Hac Vice basis.
Cohen’s New York City law firm, Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich, has also represented former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Ivana Trump, former President Donald Trump’s first wife, according to Page Six.
Simpson, who also works at Cohen’s firm, appears to be a jack-of-all-trades and an experienced litigator who practices in all areas of matrimonial and family law matters, including the valuation and equitable distribution of marital assets, and the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements.
Birenboim is a partner with the firm Paul Weiss in New York City and carries a broad focus on securities litigation. The firm is also well-known for its estate planning.
A spokesperson for Wiggs-Martin confirmed to Fox News that last week’s scheduled court hearing was strictly procedural, meaning there was no Zoom or phone session that actually took place.
The Microsoft co-founder and his soon-to-be-ex-wife were not required to attend.
Bill and Melinda Gates reportedly do not have a prenup in place. (Photo by Frederic Stevens/Getty Images)
In identical tweets, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 27 years.
“We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” they said in a statement. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
The Gateses were married in 1994 in Hawaii and share three children together. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.
The couple, who has an estimated $130 billion in assets, is said to not have a prenup. Additionally, according to TMZ, Melinda will not request spousal support.
The couple’s Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It has focused on global health and development and U.S. education issues since incorporating in 2000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.