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Saudi Billionaire & his Pirelli girl ex wife!! Part 2…

Hello there!

Apologies that there has not been a Family Law blog posted in quite some time but on the bright side I have some interesting updates for you all!

You’ll remember that in February this year I wrote a blog on the spectacularly high profile divorce of the former Pirelli model, Christina Estrada, and her billionaire ex-husband, Sheikh Walid Juffali. Well, here is the sequel …

Since the first blog, the Court of Appeal reviewed Mr Juffali’s position as a representative to the International Maritime Organization (which he claimed allowed him diplomatic immunity to divorce Christina by saying ‘I divorce you’ three times under Islamic law) and decided it did not serve as any protection for him against Christina Estrada making financial claims.

Ms Estrada based her argument against Mr Juffali on the ground that she had no knowledge of the divorce when it occurred. In any event Mr Juffali decided to marry his second wife, a 24-year-old Lebanese TV presenter, whilst still being married to Ms Estrada. Ms Estrada also claimed that she was entitled to a settlement that would allow her to maintain her luxurious lifestyle. The 53-year old ex-supermodel stated she needed £40,000 per year for fur coats, £109,000 per year for couture dresses and £21,000 per year for shoes as well as £60 million for a home in London and £495,000 for five cars in both London and America. All this would complement her own assets worth £20 million.

Ms Estrada’s claims were successful and she was awarded an astonishing £53 million by Mrs. Justice Roberts at the High Court. Payment of this extraordinary was due on the 29th July 2016. Sadly, just a week before the payment was due; Mr Juffali lost his lengthy battle with lung cancer, aged 61.

The death of Saudi billionaire has consequently delayed the implementation of the Order as it turns out that two years ago Mr Juffali transferred the vast majority of his Saudi assets to his three daughters, including the daughter he had with Ms Estrada. This has now placed Ms Estrada in a difficult position – will she need to take Mr Juffali’s children (including her own 13 year old daughter) to Court to obtain the assets due to her under English law. Most would argue that Mr Juffali placed his children in this difficult confrontation with their stepmother/ mother to once again frustrate Ms Estrada’s divorce claim against him.

This divorce settlement has become one of the highest needs award ever made by the English Courts. London is already known as the Divorce Capital of the world, but international divorces are no longer as clear cut as they once were. Ms Estrada will now need to consider foreign assets and Estate lawsin order to figure out how to implement the terms of her Order.

(Many thanks to my guest editor – Sinead Molloy)

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