After a seven-month delay, Judge Elizabeth Gloster is expect to deliver a summary ruling Friday to settle the legal feud between Roman Abramovich, the billionaire Chelsea Football Club owner, and self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
The feud, the most high-profile commercial case at London’s High Court in recent years, has fascinated the British and Russian media with intriguing tales about the tycoons’ jet-setting lives and the lawless Wild West years that followed the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.
Berezovsky, 66, is a former Kremlin power broker who fled to Britain after falling out with President Vladimir Putin. He sued the 45-year-old Abramovich, who he calls his former friend, protégé and business partner, alleging that Abramovich threatened him into selling his stakes in the Russian oil giant Sibneft vastly beneath their value. Berezovsky alleged blackmail and breach of contract — and is seeking more than 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) in damages.