The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on many businesses, and for the cities where they operate. But for one activity in which London specialises — negotiating divorces for the rich and powerful — it has benefits. Demand is brisk for elite divorce lawyers, led by Fiona Shackleton, who has guided a long list of royalty, celebrities and the wealthy through marital break-ups.

“People have been bottled up with someone they cannot get away from, trying to homeschool their children, both trying to work. It is absolutely combustible, so yes, I’ve had a number of calls,” she says. “One man called me [on Zoom] from the back of his car with his seatbelt on, saying ‘I just can’t take it anymore ... This is the only place I can talk without being overheard.’ ”..

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