By Emily-Jo Moore, trainee solicitor in the Family Law team
Following landmark Supreme Court rulings in Sharland v Sharland and Gohil v Gohil we are well aware of the implications if a husband or wife lies to the court about their finances. However, during a recent judgment the court has made it clear that deceit from other family members will not be tolerated.
Tatiana Akhmedova and Farkhad Akhmedov went through an acrimonious divorce and subsequent financial remedy proceedings from 2013 to 2016. It concluded with Haddon-Cave Justice ordering the husband to pay the wife £453 million in settlement of her financial claims despite the husband only declaring assets worth £12.6 million on his original Form E. This serves to highlight the level of non-disclosure the court was dealing with throughout the case.
In the most recent proceedings the wife alleged that assets were transferred by the husband in an attempt to prevent her effectively enforcing the court orders against him. The companies involved and the parties’ eldest son, Temur, were said to have assisted the husband in hiding his assets. Temur denied any wrongdoing and advised that he had acted as a go between for his mother and father.
Justice Knowles recently handed down her judgment in which she ordered Temur to pay his mother, Ms Akhmedova, £75 million after assisting in schemes with his billionaire father to hide divorce money and subsequently prohibit his mother from obtaining settlement monies to which she was entitled.
It was stated that Ms Akhmedova had been the victim of a series of schemes designed to put every penny of her husband’s wealth beyond her reach. Temur confessed in oral evidence that his father would rather have seen the money burnt than for his mother to receive any of it.
Justice Knowles rejected Temur’s argument that he was merely a go between and instead concluded that the devious schemes were carried out with Temur’s knowledge and active assistance. She went as far to say that “Temur has learned well from his father’s past conduct and has done and said all he could to prevent his mother receiving a penny of the matrimonial assets”.
This case is a reminder of the importance of honesty and full disclosure in financial remedy proceedings.