Ten years ago, Robbie’s success in the City meant he was viewed as something of a god – a dealer with the Midas touch. Along with his brother Vincent, the Tchenguiz brothers were notorious for their extraordinary deals each worth hundreds of millions. But it was an empire based on debt, and these were the boom years. What goes up, often comes down. Robbie lost around 80 per cent of his net worth in the 2008 financial crash – though his real problem was to be a £1.4bn loan from an Icelandic bank that collapsed.
Since then, Robbie’s been at war, fighting everyone from the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, to the bank’s receivers, Grant Thornton who swooped across his empire, trying to recoup money for the creditors of the bank. And then there’s his former trustees Investec Trust Guernsey who ran his offshore empire. Last but not least, the Serious Fraud Office who arrested him……
It took three years for the brothers to clear their names : they successfully sued for wrongful arrest, receiving a public apology and millions in compensation.
But it’s far from over. Robbie claims he’s the victim of injustice, and he’s been fighting the consequences for his business and family over the years.
Robbie’s war is run from his Mayfair office. It used to be full of people doing massive property deals. Now it’s full of lawyers. He has his own in-house team and is spending up to a £1million a month. Robbie is conducting the biggest private litigation by any individual in the UK.
But this is also a man with a colourful life. Robbie and Vincent were notorious as the playboy brothers with their raucous yacht parties in Cannes and St Tropez.
Today his girlfriend is 27-year old Polish Instagram star Julia Dybowska who moved into the house some months ago. Robbie’s estranged wife Heather, who along with their two children, has ended up living in the house with them. It’s an unusual arrangement and one of the consequences of Robbie’s financial problems.
But Robbie’s focus is on his litigation as he faces losing his home in a final appeal in the Supreme Court…..
A Century Films Production for BBC Two
1x 60 minutesComposerSam HooperPhotographyStephen RobinsonNeil HarveyGraham SmithAdditional PhotographyBen YatesEditorsSean MackenzieMarc DavisExecutive ProducerKatie Bailiff Filmed, Produced & Directed byLynn Alleway
"Absorbing film"The Observer