Katie Holmes has been tough-lawyer shopping for her divorce from actor Tom Cruise, who himself has a legal team headed by Hollywood attorney Bert Fields, 81. Holmes has gone to New York’s Allan Mayefsky, a tough-as divorce lawyer who handled Christie Brinkley’s divorce from Billy Joel, as well as New Jersey lawyer Jonathan Wolfe who has a similar, successful career acting on high profile divorce cases.

Katie Holmes has retained two prominent law firms that specialise in break-ups among the wealthy as she files for divorce from Tom Cruise.

One, a New York lawyer, Allan Mayefsky, has been involved in a number of acrimonious and headline-grabbing splits, including the divorces of the model Christie Brinkley, the television anchorwoman Joan Lunden and a Manhattan financier who was ordered to pay his former wife $US44 million.

Holmes has also hired a New Jersey divorce lawyer, Jonathan Wolfe, whose website boasts of his prowess in “complex matrimonial matters” involving the “leaders or the spouses of leaders” in business, entertainment and sports. He has written about prenuptial agreements and ways to recover hidden assets in a divorce.

The Dawson’s Creek actress announced through a lawyer on Friday that she had filed for divorce from her movie star husband of five years. The news surprised the entertainment industry, and apparently the actor himself. Cruise learned Holmes had initiated divorce proceedings in New York while he was working on a film set in Iceland.

In a statement on behalf of Holmes, Mr Wolfe said the divorce was “a personal and private matter”. “Katie’s primary concern remains, as it has always been, her daughter’s best interest,” the lawyer said, referring to the couple’s daughter, Suri, 6.

Cruise has long been a controversial figure for his statements about psychiatry and his membership of the Church of Scientology, but it was his whirlwind romance with Holmes, who is 16 years his junior, that garnered the most attention.

TV law shows have been a staple since – well, since before Perry Mason. So the ABA Journal have come up with the top 25 law TV shows, starting with LA Law and running through the gamut of trial attorneys, small and big lawyers and everyone in between.

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