Brangelina divorce: Meet the 'Disso Queen' lawyer in Angie's corner

By Nicola Whitfield
21 September 2016

Angelina's not taking any prisoners.

If you have enough money – that is, oodles of it – and you want things to go your way when your marriage ends, you call Laura Wasser.

The 41-year-old is regarded as the go-to divorce lawyer in Tinseltown and has a list of celebrities on her books as long as both your arms.

Angelina Jolie is her latest high-profile client and Laura will be representing her as she goes head-to-head with Brad Pitt to iron over the details of the divorce that has stunned the world.

Here are seven need-to-knows about Laura

1. Angie's far from her first high-profile client

She has represented (among others): Drew Barrymore when she divorced Will Kopelman; Jennifer Garner in her split from Ben Affleck; Maria Shriver when she dumped Arnold Schwarzenegger; Denise Richards when she kicked out Charlie Sheen; Kim Kardashian when she’d tired of Kris Humphries (after 72 days); Nick Lachey when he and Jessica Simpson split; and Johnny Depp when he and Amber Heard went their separate volatile ways.

2. She doesn't come cheap

She charges $850 (about R11 800) an hour and requires a retainer of $25 000 (more than R347 000) an hour. And she rarely represents people who are worth less than $10 million (just under R140 million).

3. She's not married

She has two sons from two different men but didn’t marry either. She was married to a man she met at college but divorced him in 1993 – and represented herself.

“I don’t know that human beings were meant to mate for life or be monogamous,” she once said.

4. It's no coincidence that her initials spell LAW

Wasser, Cooperman and Mandles, the LA-based firm she works for, was started by her father, Dennis Wasser. Laura told CNN in 2010 that her dad named her Laura Allison Wasser so her initials would spell LAW. “My mom wanted to call me Rebecca,” she said.

5. She runs the show at her law firm

When she joined her dad’s firm at the age of 26 she insisted on moving offices from a staid high-rise building in Los Angeles to trendy West Hollywood. “She wanted to hip it up,” Dennis told Bloomberg. Laura’s office has a fur rug and a coffee table with a gold hand grenade as a centrepiece. A framed canvas bearing the word The End hangs dominates one wall.

6. She is known as the Disso Queen

As in dissolution of marriage. Yikes.

7. She's a writer too

In 2013 she published a book, It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself. And yes, it was a bestseller.

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