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20 May 2014

World's 'biggest-ever' divorce settlement

The world's biggest-ever divorce is a 'hammer blow' to Russian oligarch ordered to pay $4.5billion to his ex-wife, says lawyer after six-year legal battle

A Russian oligarch ordered to pay out a world-record £2.7billion to his ex-wife views the settlement as a 'hammer blow' and may appeal, it emerged today reports The Daily Mail.

Judges in Switzerland said Dmitry Rybolovlev, 47, has to give Elena Rybolovleva, who was with him for 24 years, a very precise 4,020,555,987 Swiss francs and 20 centimes.

In current sterling rates, this amounts to £2,681,297,538 and 78 pence – an estimate of half the Russian oligarch’s entire fortune.

Marc Bonnant, Ms Rybolovleva's clearly delighted lawyer, said the figure represented an 'amicable settlement' after six years of tough negotiations.

But Mr Bonnant also admitted that it was 'the most expensive divorce in history' and that Mr Rybolovlev viewed the astronomical sum as a 'hammer blow'.

Mr Bonnant said the billionaire had 'put up strong resistance' and tried to conceal the full extent of his assets via offshore ventures.

The Geneva court's decision can now be appealed by Mr Rybolovlev, who met his wife more than 30 years ago when they were students in the Ural mountains.

It follow a six-year legal saga in which Mr Rybolovlev, who made his billions through a successful fertiliser business, bitterly contested Ms Rybolovleva’s claims to two of the most expensive properties in the USA and a £100million Greek island.

Now Mr Rybolovlev must sign a cheque for the incredible sum in the Swiss city of Geneva, where Mrs Rybolovleva lives in a lakeside mansion.

Read more on this story here.