Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Potanin, took the dispute together with his ex-wife to the UK’s high courtroom in a bid to keep away from going through one of many world’s largest divorce claims, as he warned in opposition to the “generosity” of the English courts.
Attorneys for the sanctioned billionaire requested Supreme Courtroom judges on Tuesday to overturn a earlier ruling that cleared the way in which for Natalia Potanina to resume her multilbillion greenback declare in London. Potanin has a web value of $29.3 billion, in response to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The case is about to check UK legal guidelines which have led to London being dubbed the world’s divorce capital as judges are inclined to favor an equal break up of property between spouses. Potanina’s legal professionals estimated in 2019 that the dimensions of her declare may probably be as a lot as $9 billion.
The English courts “are famend for his or her generosity” of their method to divorce circumstances, Potanin’s lawyer Edward Faulks stated in courtroom. However the present laws “encourages forum-shopping in huge cash circumstances reminiscent of this.”
Within the UK, the most important publicly identified courtroom award in a divorce is presently £450 million to the spouse of billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov – although the 2 settled with a cost of lower than one-third of that quantity.
Judges beforehand stated that Potanina obtained a “paltry award” in prior Russian divorce proceedings, given the billionaire’s wealth and the size of their 31-year-marriage.
The case has swung forwards and backwards with a decrease courtroom ruling accusing Potanina of “divorce tourism earlier than she then received an enchantment. The 2 lived in Russia all through their marriage earlier than Potanina purchased a house in Westminster in 2014. Potanina is looking for 50% of the worth of his stake in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC alongside dividends. That quantity would far exceed $5 billion, provided that Potanin owns round one-third of the shares within the steel producer.
Potanina stated she obtained round $40 million following Russian divorce proceedings whereas Potanin stated she ended up with $84 million.
“The prices and delay on this case have been eye-watering with no substantive progress,” legal professionals for Potanina stated. By January 2022, Potanin had spent some £8.4 million ($10.2 million), whereas his former spouse had spent £1.4 million in prices.
Potanin has taken benefit of restrictions on overseas possession of Russian property because the Kremlin invaded Ukraine by branching out into finance and shopping for stakes in banks as overseas homeowners pulled out. Potanin was sanctioned by the UK after shopping for a stake in Rosbank PJSC. He was additionally positioned on the US blacklist on the finish of final 12 months. Earlier than that, Potanin had largely averted western sanctions that hit different members of the Russian elite.
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