Nigella Lawson Turns to Britain's Top Divorce Attorney Fiona Shackleton /REUTERS
Nigella Lawson Turns to Britain's Top Divorce Attorney Fiona Shackleton /REUTERS

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has hired Britain's top divorce attorney Fiona Shackleton to handle her separation from art tycoon husband Charles Saatchi.

Shackleton, known as 'Steel Magnolia' is famed for her shrewd and tough negotiations in the courtroom. She has acted as divorce attorney for Madonna, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney, whose former wife Heather Mills famously drenched her in water after losing a claim for a huge payout from the Beatles star.

"Nigella never wanted it to come to this - but Fiona has been a rock of support and she is glad to have her on her side. Nigella is soft so she needs someone strong representing her - and they don't come any tougher than Fiona. Charles must be quaking in his boots," a source told The Sun.

Saatchi filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years after she failed to defend him in public following the publication of pictures which appeared to show him grabbing her by the throat outside a London restaurant.

"I am sorry to announce that Nigella Lawson and I are getting divorced. This is heartbreaking for both of us as our love was very deep, but in the last year, we have become estranged and drifted apart," Saatchi told The Mail.

"I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way."

Saatchi has been widely criticised over the alleged choking incident. Shortly after the pictures were published, Lawson was pictured with her son Bruno leaving her marital home with a suitcase.

She now lives in a £10,000-per-week apartment in Mayfair close to her younger sister Horatia, 44.