22 July 2010
'Possibly Britain's most costly divorce' gets underway
A divorce that may turn out to be the most costly in British legal history is getting underway.
According to a report in the Telegraph, Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky could have to pay his second wife anything up to £100 million.
The publication noted that if this figure was reached, it would more than double the previous record of £48 million.
Mr Berezovsky and his spouse were married for 18 years, but they have been separated for the last 16.
She resides in London with their two teenage children, while he lives in Surrey with his girlfriend of 15 years, Yelena Gorbunova.
They also have two children together.
Ms Berezovsky is said to be seeking a quarter of her spouse's wealth.
Sources suggest she filed for divorce after becoming annoyed at reports describing Ms Gorbunova as the wife of the businessman - who is currently a political refugee in the UK.
Lorraine Harvey, top divorce lawyer at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "Mr Berezovsky's mistake was not divorcing his wife when the marriage broke down. If he had, her claim would be a fraction of his current fortune. Instead her settlement will no doubt beat the current record which is held by Beverley Charman when she was awarded £48 million in 2006. As they both reside in this country, the English courts have jurisdiction and therefore settlement will be more favourable than if the case was heard in Constitutional Court in Russia."
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