In jurisdictions like France and Germany, as well as some of the U.S. states, there is less chance of being awarded long-term maintenance and judges have less leeway in granting awards.
Even when the initial divorce occurs outside London, assets can still be divided in a U.K. court. One of the most high-profile examples of this is the break-up of Russian oil tycoon Alexei Golubovich and his wife Olga Mirimskaya, who divorced in Russia and are currently disputing ownership of a £6.4 million West London property.
London itself has become more attractive to the wealthy – whether they are French fleeing 75 percent tax or Russians enjoying a more cosmopolitan city than Moscow. This has driven up the cost of prime real estate in the city, but also the number of wealthy people resident in London or with a London home from which to launch proceedings.
While behavior during a marriage is not usually a factor in financial settlements in London, British judges do take a dim view of failure to disclose assets. Scot Young, who has been declared bankrupt, found this out to his cost this year, when he went to prison for six months for contempt of court over attempts to hide his fortune. The Young case was notorious for the length of time and money taken to pursue the husband's assets, and concluded in November with a £20 million ($33 million) award to wife Michelle Young – although she claims that her husband is worth much more than the £45 million the judge ruled.
(Read more: Wife calls $33 million divorce payout 'disgraceful')
"There is a saying that "non-disclosers lose" in these cases," Longrigg said.
Still, in cases where assets are believed to be hidden, the poorer party often has to concede that they may never trace all of them, and accept a settlement.
"Quite often, clients are pragmatic about what they can achieve," Longrigg said.
"Pursuing hidden assets is incredibly expensive and, very often, not worth it."