Russian Oligarch Loses Battle Over Superyacht

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

A Russian oligarch’s claim for USD 115 million in damages against his ex-wife as part of Britain’s largest divorce case has been dismissed by the UAE’s highest court.

The 115-metre MV Luna, valued at around GBP 345 million, has been held in Dubai since February 2018 while the lawyers for oil billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov battled a UK court order that transferred it to his former wife Tatiana Akhmedova.

Akhmedov and Straight Establishment, the registered owner of the superyacht, initially brought a case against Akhmedova in January 2020.

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The Russian tycoon hoped to recover “loss of opportunity and moral damages” on the basis that the superyacht could have been chartered out while stuck in Dubai.

However, the claim reportedly contradicted previous declarations that the superyacht was not used for commercial purposes or financial gain, according to Akhmedova’s legal team.

Her representative Alessandro Tricoli said: “This is the latest in a string of vexatious claims by Mr Akhmedov that have been thrown out by courts in Dubai.

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“The decision in Dubai is a major blow to Mr Akhmedov’s attempts to evade the UK court judgment against him, and his efforts to reclaim the Luna from Ms Akhmedova appear increasingly bleak.”

New York-based financiers Burford Capital have provided Akhmedova with funding for her case in exchange for a share of up to 30 percent of any recovery from the USD 586 million (GBP 452 million) divorce case.

The Dubai court ordered the Russian tycoon to pay expenses and costs to his ex-wife.

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The court decision cannot be subject to further appeal.

The yacht was impounded in Dubai over two years ago for the duration of the ongoing litigation after London’s High Court ordered the tycoon to pay 40 percent of his estimated USD 1.4 billion fortune to his ex-wife.

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