Sunday, February 25

Record Divorce Payout in Divorce Capital of the World

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A Russian billionaire was ordered to pay £453m in what is believed to be Britain’s biggest divorce case.

Farkhad Akhmedov, the gas and oil tycoon, was ordered, by the High Court in 2016, to give his ex-wife just 41.5% of their wealth. Despite the order requiring him to part with less than half his assets, he is appealing the ruling; his lawyers claim that the judgement by Mr Justice Haddon Cave showed manifestly unjust favouritism towards his ex-wife. Tatiana Akhmedova, his ex-wife, has not yet received a penny and claims he has moved almost all his wealth offshore in an effort to prevent her from getting it.

The couple have two sons who Tatiana Akhmedova raised without the help of a nanny.  She argued that she was due almost half of their assets because of her equal contributions to the welfare of the family during their marriage. They moved to London in 1993 when Tatiana Akhmedova was 21 and pregnant. The coupled lived in a 39m mansion in Surrey and had a 27.8m holiday home.

Hodge Malek QC for Tatiana Akhmedova told the court that:

‘The husband has not paid a penny. Despite being awarded in aggregate £453,576,152 before interest and costs [she]has to date received nothing from [him]save for some de minimis assets in the UK.’

‘The marriage broke down in 2013 and finally ended in 2014.’

Since then he alleged that her husband had ‘embarked on a deliberate campaign of trying to defeat the wife’s claims by any means possible – save on the merits.’

Malek claimed the husband had shifted almost all of his wealth offshore from the UK to ‘stop his wife getting it.’

High-value divorce cases such as this one have given London the reputation of being the divorce capital of the world.

The previous highest divorce payout was made public in 2014 when Jamie Cooper-Hohn, estranged wife of financier Sir Chris Hohn, was awarded £337m. Last year Khoo Kay Peng, the boss of Laura Ashley, was ordered to pay his ex-wife, Pauline Chai, £64 million.

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About Author

Hannah is a third-year law student at the University of York and has a particular interest in public law and international criminal law. She joined Legal Loop in August 2017.

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