An oil trader who built up a fortune in a Russian energy business has been ordered to pay his estranged wife £453 million ($853 million) by a divorce court judge.

Senior judger Mr Justice Haddon-Cave made the ruling following a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, the Daily Mail reports.

The judge has not named anyone involved in the ruling but said the man was 61 and was born in the Caucasus and his ex-wife was 44 and from eastern Europe.

The award is thought to be the biggest ever made by a UK divorce court judge.


Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the man had worked in London as an oil and gas trader and had been very successful in pursuing business interests in the energy sector in Russia.

Nearly five years ago the man had sold shares in a Russian company for 1.3 billion US dollars.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the man had been "very generous with gifts".

He had bought his ex-wife jewellery worth more than £300,000 ($565,000) and given her unrestricted use of two credit cards and use of a yacht, plane and helicopter.

He also had property, an art collection worth more than £90 million ($169 million) and a £350,000 Aston Martin ($659,000), the court heard.

The judge said the art collection and car would be transferred to the woman as part of the payout package.

The woman had been a 'housewife and mother' throughout the 20-year marriage and she still lived at the home they had shared in Surrey.

She contended that the "total net marital wealth" was just over £1billion and that their entire wealth was 'matrimonial in character', having been built up during a long marriage through "equal contributions to the welfare of the family'.


The man had argued that he was wealthy before they married and that he had made a "special contribution" to the creation of wealth.

The wealthy husband had bought his children flats in a luxury London development costing £29million and £7.2million, the court heard.

She was not in court on Thursday to see Mr Justice Haddon-Cave deliver his ruling.

But he mysteriously pulled out of the proceedings two weeks before and planned hearing and had not appeared at the final hearing of the case, the court heard.

In late 2014, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, wife of financier Sir Chris Hohn, was awarded more than £330million.

Legal experts said the Cooper-Hohn award was 'certainly' one of the biggest made in the UK.

But they said because family litigation was often conducted at private hearings, it was hard to be certain what a payout league table would look like.

Three years earlier, Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky featured in a multi-million pound divorce case. It was reported that his former wife Galinan Besharova had agreed to accept between £165million and £220million as part of a settlement.