Elena vs. Brigita Morina: A court battle involving the ‘unaccounted for’ will of a Russian magnate with a potentially £100,000,000 bequest is raging in the High Court between the magnate’s relatives. When Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov passed away in 2017, he left behind a sizeable wealth that included a large residence. Scherbakov was well-known in London’s elite social circles.
When Vladimir Scherbakov made his final will and testament in 2015, he was living in England. He left most of his possessions that were outside of Russia to his 42-year-old British fiancée, Brigita Morina, and her family.
In order to evade extradition to Russia, Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov fled from England to Belgium in 2016 in response to an investigation into possible banking fraud.
The affluent man, unfortunately, died in Belgium at the age of 56 by hanging himself a year after the case against him was officially dropped.
A savage battle has erupted inside one of the most esteemed courts in London as Morina files a lawsuit against the billionaire’s ex-wife, Elena, and her children, Olga, who is thirty-four, and Alexander, who is twenty-five.
In court, Olga and Alexander, representing themselves, claim that Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov’s English will was supposedly revoked because they think their father intended to leave them a bigger share of his fortune.
Morina’s attorney, Hodge Malek KC, told Justice Bacon at the beginning of the court yesterday that her position is that Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov always intended to support her and their children upon his death in line with the terms of the English will.
The adult children respond to this with a complaint that Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov did not plan to be overly giving to Ms. Morina in his will because he had previously made substantial provisions for her during his lifetime. They do, however, maintain that this kind of assistance is consistent with Russian Oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov’s continued love for Elena vs Brigita Morina Ms. Morina and their kids and the reality that his family was his life’s purpose.
Olga and Alexander are accused of hiding the will in a complicated court battle that has taken unforeseen turns, even though they maintain that they don’t know where it is.
Malek, on the other hand, claims that the records were stolen without permission following a demand for their surrender made by an unidentified person in 2020 as part of an attempt to extort £30,000,000 from Morina.
Someone claiming to have authentic English will contact Morina’s legal team and make an offer to trade it for €35,000,000.
During the supposed extortion attempt, the court was informed that the will had undergone a forensic examination in Paris. Malek stated that the examination aimed to confirm its authenticity. Therefore, according to English law, Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov did not annul the English will.
Malek thinks that the extortion plan was an obvious attempt to conceal the will’s existence because the original English will was removed at an unreported time and is being held secret by some people who want a sizable ransom from Ms. Morina in order to make it public.
The court was told that they had continuously minimized Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov’s relationship with Morina as if it were just an affair and had severely criticized her, seriously harming her feelings and reputation.
Even though Russian oligarch Vladimir Scherbakov continued to give them financial support, over time their relationship with him worsened, becoming more strained and distant.
Malek said: ‘As such, it is unsurprising that the English will does not provide for Olga and reduces Alexander’s inheritance.’
The adult children of Elena and Russian oligarch Vladimir propose that Vladimir tore up his will to make a new one that gave them a bigger portion of his possessions. Their logic stems from the fact that, up until his death in 2015, their connection with Vladimir really got better.
Malek, on the other hand, makes a different argument, claiming that given Vladimir’s repeated employment of attorneys, it is unlikely that he would have destroyed his English will. Malek feels that rather than relying on an unclear intestacy process, Vladimir would have trusted lawyers to handle the weighty task of allocating his riches after his death.
‘Vladimir did not know that the original English will have fallen into the hands of a third party,’ he added.
“He intended to leave a will when he passed away. He would have created a new will if he had known that the original English will was in the hands of a third party.”
Vladimir, a previously powerful man in Russia with extensive authority over land and enterprises, broke up with Elena when he met Morina in 2010.
He lived at Granville House, a £12,000,000 home in Weybridge, Surrey, with Morina, the former creative director of the esteemed Swiss watchmaker DeLaneau.
Vladimir was a well-known figure in the London social scene. He belonged to the upscale 5 Hertford Street club in Mayfair as well as the Arts Club on Dover Street. He even asked Morina to marry him in a Knightsbridge restaurant.
In order to confirm the legitimacy of her late husband’s last known will, Morina is requesting a court declaration that, at the time of his death, he was still a British citizen but was regarded as a resident of Russia.
Olga and Alexander are asking for a grant of probate, along with their mother, who is listed as a party but is no longer actively participating in the case. To access a deceased person’s assets and bank accounts, you must have this paperwork.
They assert that Vladimir died without leaving a will when he was a resident of Belgium. The trial is expected to last more than two weeks, and the parties have not yet formally submitted their cases.
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