Biggest divorce award yet?

The wife of a former London oil and gas trader has been awarded the sum of £453 million in a divorce case in the High Court. The award could be the biggest ever made by a court in this country.

The husband built up a fortune in the Russian energy business, and sold shares in a Russian company for £1 billion, nearly five years ago. The sum awarded to the wife amounts to 41.5% of the total marital assets.

It seems that the husband had intended to argue that he had made a “special contribution” towards the family wealth. However, for reasons that are unclear, two weeks before the hearing he decided not to contest the proceedings, and he did not attend the final hearing, which took place in November and December last year.

It is thought that the award, which was made by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, could be the largest ever made by a court in England and Wales. However, details of many awards are not published, so it is impossible to say for certain whether this is the case.

The full judgment in the case can be read here.

Image: London Stock Exchange, by James Hume, licensed under CC BY 2.0.