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Article written by Zubair Dharamsi – Head of Family Law

On 31.01.2024, Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin successfully appealed against his ex-wife Natalia Potanina’s pursuit of a multi-billion-pound share of his stake in Nornickel. The legal battle, centered on a colossal divorce claim by his ex-wife, remains ongoing for Potanina.

Potanin, a prominent figure in Russia and the CEO of Norilsk Nickel, approached the Supreme Court seeking the dismissal of Natalia Potanina’s attempt to litigate a substantial divorce claim within the English jurisdiction.

Natalia Potanina aims to assert financial relief following their divorce, seeking up to 50% of the value of her former husband’s ultimate beneficial interest in Nornickel shares, dividends received since 2014, and a Russian property.

Potanin’s legal team successfully argued that the ex-wife’s claim under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 should be dismissed due to the lack of any connection between the couple and the United Kingdom during their marriage. Furthermore, they highlighted that Natalia Potanina had already received substantial monetary settlements through Russian divorce proceedings.

In a three-to-two majority decision, the Supreme Court concluded that the lower court had incorrectly applied the legal test when granting permission for Natalia Potanina to pursue her financial claim in England. The claim has been remitted to the Court of Appeal to address unresolved issues from the 2021 proceedings when the initial approval was granted for Potanina’s case to proceed.

Talk to our Specialists

It is always important and highly advisable to seek professional legal advice. Talk to our specialist Family Law team, led by Zubair Dharamsi. You can call Zubair on 0208 972 8820, or email him at zd@roselegal.co.uk


This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

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