Russian billionaire wins Britain's biggest divorce court fight

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Natalia Potanina has been denied is a £5bn payout from her ex-husband in London's High Court

Natalia Potanina has been denied is a £5bn payout from her ex-husband in London's High Court

The ex-wife of a Russian oligarch has been refused permission to pursue a legal bid for a third of his £15 billion fortune after a judge ruled that the $84 million she received when they divorced did not make her a 'victim of an injustice.'

Natalia Potanina, 58 was attempting to secure an increased pay out through English courts from her former husband, Vladimir Potanin – Russia's second richest man, claiming that the initial amount she received left her facing 'hardship' and did not meet her 'reasonable needs.'

Ms Potanina claimed that she was only given $41.5 million when the couple divorced in 2014 but deserved considerably more because of the role she played in helping to build her husband's extensive business empire.

She was attempting to launch a case in the English courts, where divorce pay outs are notoriously high, protesting that when she tried in Russia she got considerably less because of her husband's 'wealth, power and influence,' which denied her a fair settlement.

She also alleged that he had secreted his vast wealth out of her reach in a complex web of offshore companies while pleading to judges in Moscow that he had virtually no assets.

Lawyers acting for her husband took the matter to the High Court in London, asking for her English legal bid to be thrown out during a three-day hearing which took place last month.

Delivering his judgment, Mr Justice Cohen said that the claim that Mrs Potanina received $41.5 million was 'untrue and that the real figure was actually over $84 million. In addition to this, she also received $7.3 million in child maintenance. She also purchased a home in Long Island, New York, soon after the divorce, which is worth $6.5 million.

Referring to the couple as H and W (husband and wife, respectively) in his judgment Justice Cohen added: 'To most people it would seem inconceivable that someone who has received an award of $40-80 million could argue that reasonable needs have not been met, but each case is fact-specific and I accept that W could argue that her reasonable needs have not been met. However, the other 16 factors mitigate strongly against her claim proceeding.

Natalia Potanina at the High Court in Central London on October 3. She and her oligarch former husband Vladimir Potanin, 58, had already divorced in Moscow

Natalia Potanina at the High Court in Central London on October 3. She and her oligarch former husband Vladimir Potanin, 58, had already divorced in Moscow

Sources in Russia claimed Natalia - who has three children with metal magnate Potanin - would demand £5.76bn in London, although her legal team has not commented on the case

Sources in Russia claimed Natalia - who has three children with metal magnate Potanin - would demand £5.76bn in London, although her legal team has not commented on the case

'Simply because W has suffered what she regards as a very significant injustice in that other country and has come to England after the breakdown of the marriage does not in itself make the case appropriate for determination in England and Wales.'

Mrs Potanina had also revealed to the court through documents that she was now only left with around £19 million, giving the bulk of her money to her sister in

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