In what's already become one of the most talked about celebrity divorces of the decade, Angelina Jolie is prepared to face her legal battle against Brad Pitt head-on, with a high-powered team of attorneys: Laura Wasser and Robert Offer.
Wasser is a name that likely rings a bell for you as she's represented a number of celebrity clients in the past. Most recently, she represented Johnny Depp in his divorce from Amber Heard, and before that, she's helped the likes of Britney Spears,Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian West, Ryan Reynolds, Heidi Klum and more. She even represented Jolie in her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton in 2003.
So what is it about Wasser that makes her so sought after, especially for someone as high-profile as Jolie? Well, for one, she wins.
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Laura Wasser
Wasser is very good at her job, charging $850 an hour and requiring a $25,000 retainer, according to Bloomberg. She typically only represents people who are worth more than $10 million, and for that reason, she's brutally honest in the fact that she considers divorce "a business transaction" and nothing more.
In 2013, she told E! News, "[I tell clients] let's do this in a way that we can keep your sanity and your bank accounts intact. There's no reason to turn this into some kind of a melodrama—particularly if you're a famous person, because we know it's all going to get played out through the media."
Not to mention, with a divorce under her own belt, Wasser admits she's not the greatest when it comes to relationship advice.
"I tell them that a) your therapist costs less than I do, and b) what do I know? I've got two kids with two different dads," she told Dame magazine. "I'm not the person to give you relationship advice."
Wasser doesn't hold back in her belief that marriage typically doesn't result in that fairy-tale ending, and for that reason, she's adamant in reminding her her wealthy clients that prenups are part of the business plan.
"A lot of times what will happen, particularly with young women, is they don't want a prenup," she told Bloomberg, recalling the moment Britney Spears' team called her when she married Kevin Federline. "They're in love. This is fantasy time—'We're never going to get divorced, and I don't want anybody, certainly not some old guy in a suit, telling me how it's going to work out.' So they bring me in. We have the conversation."
She revealed how she goes about discussing a prenup with a client during an interview with Vanity Fair just last week.
"I will educate them as to what a pre-nup does and what a pre-nup can protect and shelter and what it can't," she explained. "I try not to put my personal feelings into it. My job is to do what is necessary to create an agreement that will be enforceable if and when they split up in the future, and save them some money and aggravation later."
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Another reason high-profile clients like her is because she understands how they vary. For example, she knows her athlete clients prefer to text rather than call.
"Maybe because they're younger or faster, that's the way that they share information," she continued. "My musician clients are usually extremely emotional—not dramatic—but they're emotional because they're artists and they're not super-verbal. They feel things on a different level. Some of the kid stuff is really, really difficult for them."
Her actor clients, however, "just want to get through it," she revealed to VF. "They take direction, if you will, very well. They like to be able to listen to what I have to say and as long as I explain it to them in common parlance as opposed to some kind of legalese, they're very appreciative of knowing that there's like a director and there's a plan and they follow direction pretty well."
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Ironically, her conversation with Vanity Fair turned when she began discussing how there's nothing that surprises her anymore—perhaps a foreshadow of the Brangelina news.
"One thing I've learned after practicing family law as long as I have: I do not judge," Wasser said. "Some of the most unlikely relationships have lasted the longest both in and out of Hollywood, and some of the ones that you would have thought would have been great matches, fall apart a year later."
So does the lawyer still believe in love?
"I don't want you to think I'm anti-love, because I'm not. I know plenty of people with wonderful, lifelong marriages," Wasser told Bloomberg. Still, though, she's happy not following that path. "I don't want to get married. I don't like the idea of entering into that contract," she admitted.
Wasser will work hand-in-hand with attorney Robert Offer, who she's spoken very highly of in the past.
Offer has worked with Jolie for years, having her back time and time again. In fact, while promoting her film A Mighty Heart in 2007, Offer admitted to being at fault for creating a contract that prevented journalists from asking Jolie too many questions in order to protect her privacy.
He called himself a "bone-headed, overzealous lawyer" for creating the contract, admitting, "This was my creating something to protect her from the press's talking about personal matters, a document that would limit discussion to the film," he said. "But it was drafted overly broadly. It was well intended, but I understand how it was received."
Right now, however, protecting her privacy during her divorce from Pitt will be essential.