Abramovich split could be 'one of the biggest divorce cases ever in London'

09/08/2017 News Team

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and his wife Daria Zhukova are to separate after 10 years together in what could be one of the world’s costliest divorces.

The couple, who have two children born in 2009 and 2013, revealed the news in a joint statement.

"After 10 years together, the two of us have made the difficult decision to separate," the statement read. 

It added that the couple "remain close friends, parents, and partners in the projects we developed together. We are committed to jointly raising our two children."

Mr Abramovich - the world's 139th richest person according to Forbes magazinewith a fortune of around £7 billion divorced his second wife Irina in 2007 in a £150 million settlement.

Ms Zhukova, an art collector, is the daughter of UK based Russian billionaire Alexander Zhukov.

The statement added that they will "continue to work together as co-founders of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the New Holland Island cultural centre in Saint Petersburg".

The divorce is predicted to be one of the biggest divorce cases ever in London and Richard Kershaw, a partner in the family department at Hunters Solicitors, said “there is likely to be a nuptial agreement regulating how the parties' assets should be divided on divorce and in which country the divorce should take place.

Mr Kershaw said it would be unsurprising if the choice of jurisdiction is Russia and not London. If, however, the divorce takes place in London, Mr Kershaw said it was likely to be settled out of court through arbitration, away from the public eye.

“With the marriage being relatively short, and the bedrock of Mr Abramovich's wealth having been accumulated before the marriage, there is no realistic likelihood of a 50-50 split. If the matter is disputed in London, Ms Zhukova's settlement will be calculated by reference to her "needs, generously interpreted".”

Mr Kershaw said that needs in this sort of case, excluding the needs of the two children, revolve around three primary items – properties and running costs; holidays & travel; personal expenditure (eg. entertaining, clothing & personal security). 

“With an international lifestyle and multiple properties, "needs" can easily run into the millions each year, on top of outright capital provision for properties, private jet & yachts,” he suggested.

“Hypothetically, if these "income needs" were £5 million, when capitalised to effect a clean break for a 36-year-old woman this would require a settlement of £162 million, on top of capital for properties, private jets, yachts and whatever she already owns."

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