Britain’s Most Expensive Divorce Involves A $500m “Superyacht”

Few people’s divorces are as expensive as the one between Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova. They are currently battling over a superyacht named Luna, which is valued at nearly $500 million. The yacht features nine decks, two heliports, a spa, and a swimming pool. It requires a crew of about 50.

The Akhmedov’s divorce has crossed international boundaries, from Russia to the U.K. to Dubai. The vessel’s ownership will be determined at Dubai’s Sharia court on August 26.

Earlier this year, oil and gas trader Akhmedov refused to give the 115-meter yacht to his ex despite being ordered to do so. When it was in Dubai for maintenance work, the U.K. High Court requested it be impounded. It has been sitting in a Dubai dry dock since February. The yacht was recently moved to open waters for a short time, reported The National.

The legal proceedings have been moved from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to Dubai’s Sharia court to be “dealt with as a matrimonial matter” and to hear new evidence. The self-made billionaire is disputing an English court’s judgement granting the yacht to his ex-wife in a settlement of $646 million.

The Akhmedovs wed in 1993 and relocated to London, reported CNBC. Akhmedov accumulated numerous homes, helicopters, vintage cars and fine art during their marriage. According to Forbes, he is worth $1.4 billion. In 2016, the U.K. High Court ordered Akhmedov to pay his wife, but he wouldn’t do so. He has contended that the ruling was politically motivated.

It’s unclear exactly when the couple divorced. Akhmedov insists he and his ex-wife divorced in Russia more than 10 years ago. However, the English judge contended that Akhmedov forged the divorce paperwork and attempted to hide his fortune through offshore companies.

Akhmedova is working with the litigation finance firm Burford Capital to help her during the divorce proceedings. Burford is financially supporting Akhmedova at this time with the hope of receiving a percentage of the settlement. Litigation finance is turning into a growing and profitable industry.

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