Weekly Family Law Update April 30, 2021

An oligarch’s son, a Big Ask and violence inquiries:

Son ordered to pay mother £75m in record divorce case

The High Court in London has ordered the son of a Russian oligarch to pay some £75 million to his mother, after the court found that his father had transferred money to him to avoid paying a divorce award.

In 2016 the High Court awarded Tatiana Akhmedova a settlement of £453 million, thought to be the largest divorce award in this country. Since then Ms Akhmedova has been endeavouring to enforce payment of the award.

Taking the case back to the High Court, Ms Akhmedova claimed that her ex-husband Farkhad Akhmedov had entered into various schemes aimed at preventing her from getting his money, including transferring money to various trusts, a company and the parties’ son, Temur.

Hearing the case Mrs Justice Knowles found that Ms Akhmedova had indeed been the victim of a series of schemes designed to put every penny of the husband’s wealth beyond her reach. Temur had confirmed in his oral evidence that his father would rather have seen the money burnt than for his mother to receive a penny of it.

Accordingly, Mrs Justice Knowles ordered the trusts and company to pay various sums to Ms Akhmedova, and Temur was ordered to pay £75 million to her.

Children’s Commissioner launches biggest ever consultation with children

Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, has launched ‘The Big Ask’, the biggest ever consultation with children undertaken in this country.  The survey will run from April 19th to May 19th and will ask children across England to set out their priorities for improving childhood post-Covid.

The results from ‘The Big Ask’ will be at the heart of the Childhood Commission, a once in a generation review of the future of childhood, inspired by the ambition of William Beveridge’s pioneering 1940s report, which laid the foundations of the post-War social security system. The Childhood Commission will identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, propose solutions and come up with targets by which improvements can be monitored.

Launching ‘The Big Ask’, Dame Rachel de Souza said:

“It is time to give something back to children after the huge sacrifices they have made during the Covid pandemic. ‘The Big Ask’ will ask millions of children in England to tell us what life is like for them, what their hopes and ambitions are, and what is holding them back.

“I hope that every parent and carer, every teacher and anyone who works with children will encourage children to take part in this big, exciting opportunity. I want ‘The Big Ask’ to be the biggest survey of children ever carried out in this country so that we can better understand what children want from the people in power and those who make decisions about their lives.

“What children tell us will be at the heart of my Childhood Commission and ‘Beveridge-style’ blueprint for Government and others to tackle some of the generational problems that have held back too many children for decades.”

Inquiries into rape and violence against women and girls launched

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has announced the terms of reference into a new inquiry into violence against women and girls. This over-arching inquiry will form the basis for the Committee’s long-term work to investigate policies and strategies to combat violence against women and girls.

Launching the new inquiries, Chair of the Home Affairs Committee Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP said:

“Women across the country have been speaking out about their experiences of violence, abuse, stalking, and feeling unsafe – be it on our streets, in schools or at home. Everyone agrees that violence against women and girls is abhorrent, yet far too little has changed in practice to improve women’s safety and in some areas things have got worse. This inquiry will examine the many forms that violence against women and girls takes in our society, what action is being taken to end the scourge of violence against women and girls, and how it is currently being addressed by Government, the police and the criminal justice system.”

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