Russian Oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s Estate ‘Hopelessly Insolvent’

The estate of the late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky is “hopelessly insolvent” a High Court judge has said.

Mr Justice Arnold says about £34 million remains in the estate but creditors’ claims run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

The judge has outlined financial facts in a ruling on the latest stage of litigation involving insolvency trustees and Mr Berezovsky’s former partner Elena Gorbunova.

Another judge had declared the estate insolvent about 18 months ago. Mr Justice Morgan made an ”insolvency administration order” at a High Court in London in January 2015.

Mr Berezovsky was found dead at his home in Ascot, Berkshire, in March 2013, when aged 67. A coroner recorded an open verdict after an inquest.

He had hit the headlines in 2012 when he lost a multibillion-pound High Court fight with Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. Mr Berezovsky made a series of claims against Mr Abramovich relating to business dealings and asked for more than £3 billion damages. But a judge ruled in favour of Mr Abramovich and the loss left Mr Berezovsky facing legal bills totalling tens of millions of pounds.

Mr Justice Arnold said, in his ruling, that estate trustees had “resolved” claims by Mr Abramovich and by Mr Berezovsky’s former solicitors.

Ms Gorbunova had become embroiled in litigation with Mr Berezovsky in late 2012 – a few months before he died – after complaining that she had not been given millions he had promised.

Judges have been told that, following Mr Berezovsky’s death, she had claimed an interest in properties whose ownership lay within a ”corporate structure”.

Mr Justice Arnold said he had made a number of legal rulings after analysing the latest stage of the litigation over two days earlier this month. He said he had dismissed some “proprietary claims” made by Ms Gorbunova.

Ms Gorbunova and Mr Berezovsky had two children and been in a relationship between 1991 and 2012, judges have heard.

“The trustees have resolved proprietary claims made by Mr Abramovich and by Mr Berezovsky’s solicitors, Addleshaw Goddard,” said Mr Justice Arnold in his ruling.

“About £34 million remains, subject to the payment of bankruptcy and administration expenses, including legal costs, out of this sum.

“This sum is currently the estate’s only substantial asset.

“Since the estate has substantial creditors running into hundreds of millions of pounds, it is hopelessly insolvent.”

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