Judge passes verdict on Abramovich's character: ruthless but humble

 

Roman Abramovich made no attempt during his £3bn legal battle with a fellow Russian oligarch to appear as a "humble man" and gave the impression that he could act "ruthlessly" in business to secure his goals, a High Court judge said yesterday.

Mrs Justice Gloster, delivering her full written judgment in the case which the Chelsea Football Club owner won last month, said Mr Abramovich had been "thoughtful" and "frank" in his testimony to the trial earlier this year.

This was in contrast to his opponent, exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, whom the judge found to have been an "unimpressive and inherently unreliable" witness whose evidence had at times been "deliberately dishonest". Mr Berezovsky, who was left with an estimated £100m legal bill, has said he was "amazed" at the findings.

Mr Abramovich, who successfully defended himself against Mr Berezovsky's claim that he was cheated out of a share of a Russian oil company, was praised for his unaffected demeanour.

The judge wrote: "He made no attempt to pretend that he was anything other than a highly successful and very wealthy businessman, who had made a very substantial fortune in the challenging Russian business environment of the 1990s and early 2000s."

She added: "I also had little doubt that, if the need arose, he would have been prepared to act ruthlessly in a business context to achieve his commercial goals."

The billionaire businessman spent nine days in the witness box at London's High Court, much of it being cross-examined by Mr Berezovsky's barrister, Laurence Rabinowitz QC, who accused Mr Abramovich of having been a "thoroughly dishonest and cynical witness".

Mrs Justice Gloster said she rejected the claim, pointing out that Mr Abram–ovich had at times given testimony potentially unhelpful to his case.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test