On the opening day of a trial, in which the ex-wife of a Russian billionaire accused their son of helping his father hide assets in one of the biggest divorce battles ever fought in Europe, laid bare the way of life of the super-rich.
The High Court has heard that Temur Akhmedov, 27, sued by his mother Tatiana, received a £ 29million apartment in London when he was only 19 and lost $ 50million in day trading while he was still a university student.
Ms Akhmedova, who is fighting to get £ 453million owed by her ex-husband in a 2016 High Court divorce settlement, seeks almost £ 70million from Temur, who is contesting the claim .
The case was due to start last Wednesday but was adjourned after Temur flew to Moscow instead of attending the High Court, appearing via a video link to tell the judge he had become scared and stressed. He was ordered back to London by Judge Knowles and appeared in court on Monday.
London has become the “Divorce Capital of the World” due to the generous settlements granted by judges to financially weaker spouses, often ex-wives.
In her testimony in court, Ms Akhmedova claimed that her eldest son Temur acted as a “lieutenant” for her ex-husband and billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, who she said had hidden property from him.
Ms Akhmedov received a 41.5% share of Mr Akhmedov’s £ 1 billion fortune at the end of 2016. Since then she has sought to enforce the £ 453million award by the English courts in a number of legal battles across the globe, involving assets that include a superyacht named Luna, a helicopter, and a private art collection.
Mr Akhmedov refused to pay the settlement, claiming it had been replaced by their divorce in Moscow 20 years earlier.
In her testimony Ms Akhmedova confirmed that her son Temur received an apartment in London worth around £ 29million when he was just 19 and also received a Mercedes car when he was only 17 years old.
In his opening written arguments, Robert Levy QC acting for Temur, said that claims that Farkhad put most of his fortune out of his ex-wife’s reach did not mean that the wealth Temur had been offered by his father was part of the same alleged scheme ”.
Mr. Levy argued, “The fact that the sums are astronomical is irrelevant. Some of the extremely rich are lavishing unimaginable sums on their children. This is what Farkhad and Tatiana did during their marriage; Farkhad continued it towards the end of the marriage and thereafter.
Mr Levy also claimed in his written arguments that Temur lost $ 50 million in stocks and shares while studying private banking at the London School of Economics.
The case continues.