Russian millionaire fighting for reduced payout in High Court divorce battle

A man is fighting to have his former wife’s “over generous” divorce payout reduced after the High Court ruled that the sum should be retrospectively increased.

Boris Zimin, 47, was ordered by a Russian court to pay ex-wife Ms Zimina £6 million in 2014.

But after asking the High Court in London to reassess her “reasonable needs”, a judge increased the payout by some £1.15 million.

The wife currently lives in the £5 million family home in Kensington with the couple’s three children. She said she was forced to readjust to a more “modest” standard of living since the divorce, while her husband continued to live a lavish and extravagant lifestyle.

The court heard how Mr Zimin continued to enjoy “sumptuous properties in the sun, use of a £3.5 million yacht and ownership of a £850,000 helicopter”.

Mr Zimin appealed the decision to increase the payout, claiming his ex-wife had taken advantage of “generous” UK divorce courts.

“If a wife has millions of pounds, the wife is clearly not suffering hardship. It is impossible to characterise the provision made in Russia as inadequate,” his lawyer said.

He said the deal was agreed in Russia and should be respected unless there was evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, or duress.

“The husband made every possible effort to have the case resolved quickly, and ideally cheaply, from the start.”

Richard Todd QC, for Mrs Zimina, said she had “lived relatively frugally” after the split while her ex-husband “enjoyed the yacht and took up learning how to fly his new helicopter”.

“In a case where the husband had assets in excess of £40.5 million… the wife’s needs should have been assessed on a generously interpreted basis,” he said.

The judges have reserved their ruling until a later date.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010.