Natalia Potanina has been refused and receives £ 5 billion from her ex-husband at the High Court in London
The ex-wife of a Russian oligarch has refused permission to make a legal bid for a third of his £ 15 billion fortune after a judge ruled that the $ 84 million she received when they divorced her to a & # 39, victim of an injustice. & # 39;
Natalia Potanina, 58, tried to get higher benefits from her former husband, Vladimir Potanin – the second richest man in Russia, through English courts, who claimed that the initial amount she received had confronted her with & # 39; hardships & # 39; and did not meet her & # 39; reasonable needs. & # 39;
Mrs. Potanina claimed that she only received $ 41.5 million when the couple divorced in 2014, but earned considerably more because of the role she played in building her husband's vast business empire.
She tried a lawsuit before the English courts, where divorce benefits are notoriously high, and protested that when she tried it in Russia, she got considerably less because of the & # 39; wealth, power and influence & # 39; from her husband, who denied her a fair settlement.
She also claimed that he had hidden his enormous wealth beyond her reach in a complex web of offshore companies while pleading to the judges in Moscow that he had virtually no assets.
Lawyers who acted for her husband brought the case to the Supreme Court in London and asked her to make her English legal bid at a three-day hearing that took place last month.
In response to his opinion, Mr. Justice Cohen said that the claim that Mrs. Potanina received $ 41.5 million is not true and that the actual figure was actually more than $ 84 million. In addition, she also received $ 7.3 million in child support. She also bought a house in Long Island, New York, shortly after the divorce, which is worth $ 6.5 million.
Referring to the couple as H and W (male and female respectively) in his judgment, Justice Cohen added: & For most people, it seems unthinkable that someone who has received a prize of $ 40-80 million could claim that no reasonable needs have been met, but each case is factual and I accept that W could argue that its reasonable needs have not been met. The other 16 factors, however, strongly mitigate its claim procedure.
Natalia Potanina at the High Court in central London on 3 October. She and her former oligarch husband Vladimir Potanin, 58, were already divorced in Moscow
Sources in Russia claimed that Natalia – who has three children with metal magnate Potanin – would demand £ 5.76 billion in London, although her legal team did not comment on the case
& # 39; Just because W has suffered what she considers to be a very significant injustice in that other country and came to England after the marriage failed, this in itself makes the case unsuitable for a decision in England and Wales. & # 39;
Mrs. Potanina had also revealed to the court through documents that she now only had £ 19 million left and gave most of her money to her sister in Moscow, who is helping to take care of their 99-year-old mother.
Both Pontanina and her ex-husband had hired two of the country's most important divorce lawyers to defend their case.
The Potanins were divorced in Russia in 2014 after their long marriage when they allegedly received a £ 5.5 million settlement
He had secured the services of the legendary divorce specialist Baroness Shackleton – the & # 39; Steel Magnolia & # 39; named for its charm and difficult negotiating skills. Potanina had hired Frances Hughes, a prominent family law specialist, and Charles Howard, QC.
If her search for securing £ 5 billion of her husband's wealth had been successful, this would have been the largest divorce case ever in British legal history.
The couple has three adult children. Potanin earned his wealth of metals after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but has disputed that his total value exceeds £ 15 billion.
Potanin hired the legendary divorce specialist Fiona Shackleton in (above) – the & # 39; Steel Magnolia & # 39; named for its charm and difficult negotiating skills – to defend him
The billionaire has an enormous wealth, including his £ 150m super yacht, which is often seen in Monaco
Justice Cohen noted: “The parties were not always rich, but from the mid-1990s, H was able to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities that existed in Russia at the time to make a fortune. It is not necessary in this judgment to go into details more than to say that H became enormously rich. The lush lifestyle of the parties reflected his wealth, which W estimates, according to figures from published sources, at around $ 20 billion. & # 39;
Cohen's verdict also contained details about the marriage's failure, with Potanina stating: & # 39; On November 17, 2013 after a regular family dinner, H told me that the marriage was over … my world was falling apart. We have been together since we were 17; we were married for 30 years … until that moment I thought we had a strong and happy marriage … I haven't seen H since that night. & # 39;
Tycoon Vladimir Potanin – Russia's second richest man – defeated his former wife Natalia in a lengthy legal dispute in Moscow, but now brought her huge financial claim to Britain
Mr. Justice Cohen also stated that he could not let Pontanina prosecute her case because she had only a weak relationship with England. Lawyers who acted for her husband had claimed that she had moved to the country only in 2014 for the specific reason for trying to get a higher benefit, and described her as a & # 39; divorce tourist & # 39 ;.
The judge suggested that if Mrs. Potanina's claim was allowed to continue, there would be & # 39; effective & # 39; would not be a limit for separating tourism & # 39 ;.
She currently lives in a flat in central London, which she bought shortly after arriving in the country for around £ 2.5 million.
The judge also noted that England was the fourth country in which she had initiated legal proceedings against her former husband.
Justice Cohen commented: & # 39; At Mr. Howard QC's request, I would point out that W is very disappointed with the outcome of this case and wants permission to appeal against this judgment. It should therefore be read as not necessarily the last word. & # 39;
Jilted Natalia, who has been living in London for several years, did not get a court settlement today
Lawyers representing Mrs. Potanina, who lives in London, said they & # 39; are very disappointed & # 39; was and added that she wanted to ask the London court to consider the case.
The case has echoes of a similar Russian divorce case in the UK.
Farkhad Akhmedov, a wealthy Russian businessman, is fighting with his former wife Tatiana, who secured a £ 453 million settlement from him in 2016 – despite the fact that they were Russian citizens, who married in Russia and were divorced 15 years earlier in the country.
A spokesperson for Mr Akhmedov said that today's Supreme Court ruling states that the pursuit of international divorce actions in the UK & # 39; divorce tourism & # 39; is.
& # 39; It is a manipulation of the UK justice system and a disregard for the courts of other jurisdictions & he said.
& # 39; Three years ago Akhmedov took the same position in defending divorce proceedings brought by his ex-wife in the English Supreme Court.
& # 39; The cases had strikingly similar facts, including a marriage between two Russian citizens and a valid divorce decision in Russia. The same lawyer in both cases.
& # 39; Nevertheless, the Court has ironically arrived at two opposing decisions in the two cases. We therefore question the validity of the ruling in our case, the robustness of English justice and the prestige that the British courts hold for the Russian judiciary, & he added.
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