Divorce settlement sees woman net £453m
A British court has ruled that a Russian billionaire must pay £453m to his estranged wife as part of a divorce settlement.
The payment has been touted as one of the biggest ever made by a UK court and will see the 61-year-old former oil and gas merchant pay his ex-wife, 41, 41.5 per cent of the “total marital assets”.
The couple met and were married in Moscow before moving to Surrey.
A ruling was passed by the judge that prevents the man, from the Caucasus, and the Eastern European woman from being identified.
The court was told how, almost five years ago, the husband sold his shares in a Russian company for a fee believed to be £1bn ($1.3bn).
The man then bought flats in a London development for both of their sons, with one of these costing £29 million and the other costing £7 million.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said that the woman had been a mother to the couple’s children as well as housewife.
It was argued by the husband that he had made a “special contribution” to the generation of the couple’s wealth, however the judge concluded that both parties had made “equal contributions to the welfare of the family”.
The ex-wife said that she believed the “total net marital wealth” was valued at just over £1bn and had been developed over the course of the marriage.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the man’s reasons for the “sudden decision” to stop contesting the case were “unclear”, however he had previously argued that he was wealthy prior to the marriage.
Neither the man nor the woman were present in court for the ruling.
Both were given indefinite leave to remain in the UK, where they have lived for a number of years.
2014 saw Jamie Cooper-Hohn, who had been married to financier Sir Chris Hohn, awarded over £330 million, which was at the time one of the biggest in UK history. It is unclear whether this represents the highest divorce settlement in UK history however, as divorce proceedings tend to be conducted in private hearings.