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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Akhmatova: the price of non-disclosure on divorce

Akhmatova: the price of non-disclosure on divorce


Billionaire husband and son who concealed wealth exposed for non-disclosures 

A judge described the Akhmatova divorce and financial remedies case as one of the unhappiest ever to have appeared in her courtroom. It was also probably one of the most expensive. 

Mrs Akhmatova was awarded a staggering £453m after she satisfied the appeal court that assets had been transferred by Russian billionaire, Mr Akhmatova, and his companies deliberately to stop her enforcing court orders against him.

Their son had also assisted Mr Akhmatova, on whom he was wholly financially reliant, in the effort to conceal wealth. 

Knowles J said Mrs Akhmatova was the “the victim of a series of schemes designed to put every penny of the Husband’s wealth beyond her reach” 

“Truth and transparency are the cornerstones of family law”, commented Claire Ward, a partner at Langleys solicitors in York. She said the case highlights the importance of transparency in legal proceedings.

She added: “The court has made it very clear following landmark decisions by the Supreme Court in 2015, that if it is found there has been either a material non-disclosure or fraud before a final agreement or Order is made, these can be set aside… If a party takes steps to try and avoid complying with an agreement or order, the Court will take a dim view of this and impose the necessary sanctions to ensure the obligations under the original order are fulfilled.”