UK's 'biggest' divorce deal agreed

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The Independent Online

Britain's biggest ever divorce settlement was today agreed between Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky and his ex-wife, her solicitor said.

Galina Besharova, 52, earned the biggest settlement in British legal history after Mr Berezovsky admitted unreasonable behaviour, said lawyer Deborah Levy.



Mrs Levy, of WGS solicitors, could not confirm the amount of money involved in the settlement but reports suggest the deal could be worth more than £100 million.



"Parties have amicably resolved matters and are very keen to preserve their privacy," said Mrs Levy.



The previous settlement record was set when insurance broker John Charman paid his former wife Beverley £48 million.



Ms Besharova obtained a "quickie" divorce in July 2010.



Divorce documents give the reasons for the split as the oligarch's "unreasonable behaviour".



Second wife Ms Besharova was said to have spent only two years of the 18-year marriage with the exiled businessman, whose fortune - once estimated at more than £1 billion - was built up after they had separated.



The couple met in 1981 when Mr Berezovsky, was a professor of mathematics in Moscow earning £60 a month.



The 65-year-old later set himself up in business as a car dealer, founding the first Mercedes dealership in the old Soviet Union, then became one of the original Russian oligarchs when President Boris Yeltsin sold off state assets to favoured supporters for a fraction of their value.



Mr Berezovsky, who lives in Surrey, married Ms Besharova in 1991 after divorcing his first wife, Nina.

PA

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