High Court order for transfer of yacht overruled by Dubai judge

A Sharia court in Dubai has dismissed an application by a wife to enforce an English divorce court order that a £346 million luxury yacht ‘M V Luna’, which is currently moored there, must be transferred to her as part of the divorce settlement.

In December 2016 Mr Justice Haddon-Cave granted financial relief to Tatiana Akhmedova against her ex-husband Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov in the sum of £453 million, and in April this year he ordered that the yacht should be transferred to her as part of the settlement. Mrs Akhmedova sought to have the order upheld in Dubai, but the Dubai court ignored the High Court order.

At 115 metres (377 ft) long, Luna is the world’s second largest ‘expedition yacht’ (i.e. yacht created for long distance cruising to remote areas of the world), and 23rd largest luxury yacht. It was formerly owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club.

The case has raised concerns amongst lawyers over the difficulties of enforcing English divorce court orders abroad, although it is understood that Mrs Akhmedova may not have exhausted all of her legal options in Dubai.

Of course if you cannot enforce an order then the order is effectively worthless. The best practical advice therefore must be to consult an expert upon the chances of recovering property abroad, before issuing any proceedings. Family Law Cafe can help you find such advice. To contact us, click the Contact link above and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

You can read the second judgment of Mr Justice Haddon-Cave here.

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Image: Mega Yacht LUNA, by Tomás Del Coro, licensed under CC BY 2.0.