When an Eastern European woman complained to her hairdresser that her estranged husband, an Australian millionaire, was leaving her with a meagre sum, a voice piped up from a neighbouring chair — “I know where you can get a lawyer”.
That conversation led to a landmark ruling in the High Court this week known as Thorne v Kennedy.
Family law experts across Australia say the ruling could make prenuptial agreements, known as prenups, difficult to enforce into the future for everyone.
Ms Thorne, a pseudonym to protect the 36-year-old’s identity, was represented by Peter Carmont from Somerville Laundry Lomax, a firm in the northern New South Wales town of Lismore. Mr Carmont said Ms Thorne sought him out on the advice of a stranger in a hairdressing salon.
“She told her hairdresser about the terrible things that were happening to her and one of the clients piped up and said ‘I know where you can get a lawyer. Lismore. They’ll look after you’,” he said.