Philipp Ryabchenko Comments on How the Co-owner of Maria-Ra Chain and Ex-Member of the Forbes List is Divorcing in London

16 April 2022

The divorce proceeding between Alla Rakshina, a co-owner of Maria-Ra, Siberia’s largest retail chain, and a Greek, Lazaros Xanthopoulos, has been under way since 2020. The spouses have already spent £5.4 million for the proceeding where all the expenses are paid by Rakshina’s company. Xanthopoulos calls himself a house husband and asserts that Rakshina’s fortune is at least £300 million

The information about the divorce proceeding between Alla Rakshina, a co-owner of Maria-Ra, a Siberian retail chain, and a Greek, Lazaros Xanthopoulos, has become known due to an intermediate judgment in this case published on April 12 on the portal of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute.

“While the dispute concerning the children has already been considered on the merits and the case is at the appeal stage, the property division issue is at the initial stage,” Philipp Ryabchenko, a managing partner of BIEL, comments on the proceeding. “The parties agreed to continue the dispute on the assets in England under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (MFPA).”

“Judicial proceedings in England are an ‘entertainment’ for wealthy people, especially when it deals with the division of big family fortunes,” Ryabchenko explains. “There are several reasons for it. First of all, this is the duration of proceedings. Such disputes last for years as a rule. Many intermediate court orders may be appealed against, which suspends the main proceeding. The second factor is the cost of legal services. The cost of the proceeding at an active stage can in average be about £200,000 per month.”

During the hearing, Mr. Justice Mostyn denied the requests of Xanthopoulos. As far as the allocation of £250,000 for the services of the former lawyers is concerned, he noted that they had withdrawn from the case and, consequently, passed into the category of the husband’s creditors and should demand a compensation from him personally and on common grounds. Future potential expenses were also rejected. One of the reasons was Rakshina’s statement in which she referred to the consequences of the “special operation”* of Russia in Ukraine which restricted her access to the money in Russia. She also said that even the right itself to access and dispose of the account of Cottus had brought her considerable costs, about £500,000.

Source: (full text of the article)

*related articles:

On Specific Features of Matrimonial Judicial Proceedings with a Foreign Element. Kommersant.
On the Cost of Judicial Proceedings in England. Forbes.