Oligarch’s son gets £1.14m top-up divorce settlement back

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Oct 06, 2017
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The claimant had argued that the original £5.1 million payout was insufficient to support her lifestyle

Anthony Devlin/PA

The ex-wife of a Russian oligarch has been stripped of the additional money she secured by arguing that a £5.1 million divorce payout was not enough to keep her in reasonable style.

Ella Zimina, 45, had said that she had to “live relatively frugally” after separating from the multimillionaire Boris Zimin, who is worth about £40 million, and came back for what a judge called a “second bite of the cherry”.

She and their three children lived “modestly” while he partied on the family yacht and learnt to fly his new helicopter, Zimina said.

Zimin, 47, the son of the Russian telecoms businessman Dmitri Zimin, agreed to pay her £5.1 million after their divorce in Russia in 2009 but she said that that was not enough. Last year an English judge agreed and she was awarded an additional £1.14 million. Now, however, she has been stripped of the extra cash by appeal judges, who ruled that it was “unfair” on her ex-husband.

Zimina had been adequately provided for by her ex-husband and had wrongly been given a “second bite of the cherry”, they said. Lady Justice King said that when the couple split in Russia, they were worth about $13.3 million (now about £10 million), of which she received about $10 million.

Zimin had glittering inheritance prospects from his father, whose personal fortune was said to be worth about $182 million. However, Zimina was given a Moscow flat worth at least $5 million, another $5 million in cash and a guarantee of $240,000 a year for life if Zimin died before her.

He also agreed that she could live in the family’s six-bedroom west London home rent free until their children became adults. The five-storey, six-bedroom house in Kensington is now worth about £5 million.

Lady Justice King said that the “fair” deal Zimina had struck with her ex-husband in Russia met her reasonable needs and should not have been increased. It was “hard if not impossible” for Zimina to argue that “she had, or would, suffer injustice or hardship” if she didn’t get more, the judge said.

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