Russian Oligarch’s £350 Million Super Yacht is the Focus of Britain’s Most Expensive Divorce

Published: 13th November 2018

Russian Oligarch’s £350 Million Super Yacht is the Focus of Britain’s Most Expensive Divorce

Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov claims that he dissolved his marriage to British citizen and mother of two more than a decade ago, despite ex wife Tatiana Akhmedov’s attempt to seize his £350 million mega yacht amongst other assets in recent divorce proceedings.

Ms Akhmedov’s lawyers succeeded in impounding the 115 metre super yacht, however a Dubai based Sharia court has overruled the British court and chosen to ignore the High Court ruling, which states that Mr Akhmedov must hand over the ‘Luna’ yacht to his ex wife in order to satisfy a financial settlement.

The super chic mega yacht, which boasts a helicopter landing pad, 20-metre outdoor swimming pool and 10 VIP guest cabins, sailed in to a Dubai port for repairs, where it was subsequently impounded for 8 months alongside Akhmedov’s other worldwide assets.

The Sharia court ruled in Farkhad Akhmedov’s favour, telling him that he was free to sail the super yacht out of a port in the Arab state. The Dubai judges and court chose to address the issues at hand, stating that an Arab commercial court did not have to uphold the UK freezing order placed on Mr Akhmedov’s financial assets.

A Dubai judge has also gone as far as suggesting that Tatiana Akhmedov should be held accountable, and should be responsible for the claims put forward and pay both hers and her ex husband’s steep legal fees.

The Russian oligarch, who made a name for himself as a self-made multi-millionaire trading gas and oil, vowed that he would sell the mega yacht for scrap rather than relinquish control and hand over the £350 million asset to his ex wife.

His spokesmen later went on to say that “Mr Akhmedov is delighted but not surprised by the court decision in favour of the Akhmedov family trust”, and stated that Akhmedov is “reassured that the wise judges of Dubai’s local courts have seen Tatiana’s cynical claims for what they are”.

A spokesman for Tatiana later disclosed that her team of highly trained expert litigation lawyers continue to examine the court ruling. The spokesperson continued on Ms Akhmedov’s behalf with, “both the significance and the substance of the Dubai Court of First Instance’s ruling are yet to be determined”, “all that has been handed down at this stage is the decision”.

He continued to shed light on the future of the dispute, declaring that “once published, Ms Akhmedov’s lawyers look forward to the opportunity to scrutinise the court’s reasoning and to consider any grounds for appeal”. The spokesman announced that “nothing material will change and importantly Luna will remain in Port Rashid under arrest”.

Despite the court’s decision to rule in favour of Mr Akhmedov and his family trust, Tatiana has been awarded financial compensation in the form of a £20 million Surrey home and an extensive art collection valued at £30 million – however the financial settlement is trifling compared to the £453 million Ms Akhmedov expected to receive.

Britain’s costliest divorce is just the most recent example of the difficulties that surround enforcing UK divorce orders abroad. In order to address these complications, the gap between UK law and foreign law must be bridged, and universal reforms must be introduced to protect the rights of both parties alike.

If you require legal advice on any matter relating to international divorce or family law then K J Smith Solicitors can help. Our team of experienced family law professionals have handled a large number of cases involving family law matters ranging from the straightforward to the highly complex.

For more information or to arrange a free 45-minute consultation, please contact K J Smith Solicitors today 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01235 375500 (Abingdon) and 01344 513000 (Ascot).

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