A billionaire has been given the go-ahead to bring a legal challenge at the High Court after a raid on his north London home.

Ukranian-born oligarch Mikhail Fridman, who owns Athlone House in Hampstead Lane, Highgate, had his home raided by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on December 1 last year.

The agency took his mobile phone and other electronic devices, as well as a passport and other travel documents.

He wants the search warrant to be overturned and for his property to be handed back.

At a hearing in London on Thursday (July 27) his legal team said the warrant relied on false allegations from a 2012 Wikileaks document which had since been disproved.

Representing Mr Fridman, Hugo Keith KC said in written arguments: “The allegations were absolutely typical of classic kompromat – damaging and untrue information assembled and used to create negative publicity and to exert influence over the subject.”

Mr Keith also claimed that the warrant had not been executed properly, and described how more than 50 NCA officers arrived at Mr Fridman’s house at 7.30am in the morning on December 1 last year.

“Many wore body armour and helmets, notwithstanding that they had come to arrest middle-aged suspects and to search for fraud and sanctions-related offences”, he said.

For the NCA, Cathryn McGahey KC conceded that “failures on its part led to the search of the claimant’s property and the seizure of items being unlawful”.

In written arguments, she added the agency “should be permitted to retain the seized material”.

Mr Fridman has been subject to sanctions from the UK Government which were put in place after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on the basis of alleged links with President Vladimir Putin.

He is bringing ongoing challenges against the sanctions he has been placed under by the UK, as well as in the EU.

Ham & High: Athlone House designs by SHH architectsAthlone House designs by SHH architects (Image: Archant)

The Ukrainian-born businessman purchased Athlone House in 2016 for £65 million and restored the mock-Georgian building.

With extensive business interests, Fridman’s regularly appears in the Sunday Times Rich List, and is believed to be worth £8.2 billion.

He made his fortune under Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin across banking, retail, oil and telecoms, through companies Alfa Group and Letter One, before moving to London in 2015.

“I am good at making money but not at spending it, so I don’t have cars, houses, boats and other things,” the father-of-four once told the Ham&High.

Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Jay agreed Mr Fridman’s legal challenge should go to a full hearing on all of his grounds of challenge, which include that the NCA failed to specify the premises to be searched under the warrant, what it was looking for, and that the tests for issuing a warrant had not been met.

A hearing is expected to take place on November 14 this year.

Additional reporting by PA.