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Attorneys in Gates divorce also worked on Bezos split

The couple is ending their marriage of 27 years but stated they will continue their work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. CNN's Christine Romans reports.

Posted: May 5, 2021 10:11 AM
Updated: May 5, 2021 10:11 AM

You can't make this stuff up.

Two of the attorneys on opposite sides of the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce case also represented the opposing sides in the 2019 divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott.

Ted Billbe, one of the lead lawyers for Bill Gates in this case, represented Scott in her divorce from Bezos.

Sherri Anderson, who is on the team representing Melinda Gates, previously represented Bezos.

But that's not all these two divorces have in common: The dollars at stake in both settlements are staggering.

Bill Gates is ranked the world's fourth richest person by Forbes with an estimated net worth of $130 billion. Bezos, despite the hit his fortune took from his divorce settlement, is back on top of the list with an estimated worth of $194 billion. MacKenzie Scott, meanwhile, is now ranked 21st with a net worth of $59 billion.

The two attorneys also appear to use the same office address in Bellevue, Washington, according to their their web sites, though the sites do not list them as partners or mention each others' name. Court documents also list a different address for Billbe.

Anderson's web site says that she specializes in complex divorces in Kings County, Washington, where Seattle and many of its suburbs are located, with an emphasis on cases involving substantial estates, stock options, business valuations, international or multi-state assets, among other things.

Billbe's site says "we often work in high asset cases," and "cases with substantial family wealth," as well as those "involving business executives which present complicated compensation and deferred compensation issues."

Both Anderson and Billbe also were listed as speakers at a Washington State family law conference last month. Anderson spoke about pre- and post-nuptial and community property agreements. Billbe spoke on best practices in unwinding long-term relationships.

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