This new twist is one of many in a complex, drawn-out and acrimonious series of legal disputes between the couple. It all stems from a 2016 ruling at London’s High Court that Mrs Akhmedova be awarded a divorce settlement amounting to a 41.5% share of her former spouse’s fortune, which is believed to be over £1 billion. Mr Akhmedov is an oil and gas tycoon, as well as a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mrs Akhmedova claims that she has not been given any of the £453 million she is owed. Her legal representatives are now pressing for her London-based trader son Temur to be joined to the case, as well as emails between father and son to be disclosed as evidence.
In response, Temur has disputed the allegations made against him and has applied for an order to prevent his personal financial information being disclosed in court.
His representatives also argue that Mrs Akhmedova’s claims are unlawful, as her case is funded by litigation finance firm Burford Capital. They have filed papers referring to a feudal times practice called champerty, in which support is lent to legal claim by a commercial backer in return for a share of the payout – which runs contrary to English law. If Mrs Akhmedova is successful in her legal claims against her husband and son, Burford Capital will take a portion of the £453 million awarded to her by the High Court in London.
Other key moments in the case so far have been:
• A fight over a £350 million superyacht owned by Mr Akhmedov, which Mrs Akhmedova lost despite winning a global freezing order in the original settlement. The billionaire oligarch was allowed to keep it after a court in Dubai ruled it was unlawfully impounded there.
• Farhad Akhmedov argued that because both he and his former spouse are not British, the High Court in London and a British judge should not have ruled on their divorce case.
• Lawyers for Mrs Akhmedova have said that it is publicly known that documents presented by her ex-husband ‘proving’ they were divorced in Russia back in 2000 were “at all material times, forged”.
• Mrs Akhmedova was at one time offered an £80 million settlement by her estranged husband, plus £4 million a year for life along with valuable antiques including a writing desk once belonging to Napoleon.
Due to the complexities, enormous wealth and fierce animosity in this case – not to mention third party interests - it’s unlikely that the case will be resolved any time soon. But watch this space for further updates!
And if you need help sorting out financial matters during divorce, rely on Wirral divorce solicitor Tracey Miller Family Law to make it as simple, straightforward and fair as possible. Call us on 0151 515 3036 or 07795 060 211 to see how we can help.