It is mom in opposition to son in Britain’s most costly divorce battle

For the UK, the influx of Russian capital – and capital from the super-rich in other parts of the world – has had positive effects. Real estate prices and tax coffers replenished, and a small industry of accountants, lawyers, and consultants sprang up to help these emigrants navigate tax codes and purchase items with big tickets like soccer teams.

This mutually beneficial relationship has had some problems, and Akhmedov’s divorce is one of them. Akhmedov, originally from Azerbaijan, had earned an estimated $ 1.4 billion through a Siberian energy company, Northgas, and he seemed long anxious to enjoy his fortune.

In addition to villas, a private jet, helicopters, and masterpieces by artists such as Rothko and Warhol, he bought a 500 million dollar yacht, the Luna, from his oligarch Roman Abramovich. It’s 380 feet of floating luxury, with nine decks, seating for 18 guests, a crew of 50, and – just in case – a missile detection system and bombproof doors.

Allegations of infidelity between the husband and wife led to the divorce, but Mr Akhmedov refused to even send a lawyer to the 2016 trial on the grounds that the couple were already divorced. A court in Moscow dissolved the marriage in 2000, he said.

Judge Charles Haddon-Cave, who oversaw the process, was unimpressed. He described the documents supporting the divorce in Moscow as “forged”. When Ms. Akhmedova was unable to collect more than part of her record price, the judge ordered her ex-husband to hand over his yacht to her. He refused.

By then, Ms. Akhmedova had signed up with Burford Capital, a publicly traded litigation finance company that had paid millions in legal fees for its attorneys and made millions available for living expenses. According to reports, the company will cut its recovery by 30 percent, as well as multiplying its legal costs.