It’s Mom vs. Son in Britain’s Priciest Divorce Struggle
For the UK, the influx of Russian capital – and capital from the super-rich in other parts of the world – has had a positive impact. Property prices and tax coffers were replenished, and a small industry of accountants, lawyers, and consultants sprang up to help these emigrants navigate tax codes and purchase items with large tickets like soccer teams.
This mutually beneficial relationship has had some problems, and Akhmedov’s divorce is one of them. Akhmedov, originally from Azerbaijan, had earned an estimated $ 1.4 billion through a Siberian energy company, Northgas, and he seemed long anxious to enjoy his fortune.
In addition to villas, a private jet, helicopters and masterpieces by artists such as Rothko and Warhol, he bought a 500 million dollar yacht, the Luna, from his oligarch Roman Abramovich. It’s 380 feet of floating luxury, with nine decks, seating for 18 guests, a crew of 50, and – just in case – a missile detection system and bomb-proof doors.
Allegations of infidelity between the husband and wife led to the divorce, but Mr Akhmedov refused to even send a lawyer to the 2016 trial on the grounds that the couple were already divorced. A court in Moscow dissolved the marriage in 2000, he said.
Judge Charles Haddon-Cave, who oversaw the process, was unimpressed. He described the documents supporting the divorce in Moscow as “forged”. When Ms. Akhmedova was unable to collect more than part of her record price, the judge ordered her ex-husband to hand over his yacht to her. He refused.
By then, Ms. Akhmedova had signed up with Burford Capital, a publicly traded litigation finance company that paid millions in attorney fees for her attorneys and provided millions for living expenses. According to reports, the company will cut all recoveries by 30 percent as well as multiples in legal costs.