Wife of the grand businessman Vladimir Potanin wants to clarify the situation around the marital property

7 February 2014

Divorce of the owner of “Interros” holding and a fortune of 14 billion US dollars Vladimir Potanin may cause the appearance of the new Russia's wealthiest woman — Natalia Potanina. The senior partner of the Law firm “BIEL” Philipp Ryabchenko became her lawyer in court.

About a year has passed since the president of Russia's largest management company ZAO (Closed Joint Stock Company) “Holding company ”Interros“ Vladimir Potanin, who was, according to Forbes, in 2013 with his 14.3 billion US dollars in the seventh place in Russia among the richest citizens, said that he was not going to make happy the heirs and would give most of his assets to charity. Today , when the divorce process intercrossed the businessman’s destiny, he argues that there are no property claims to each other between him and his wife Natalia. But the wife does not agree with this. She says: Potanin’s statement that their relationship ended in 2007, is untrue. Moreover, according to her, from that moment, when there was a division of the assets of Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov , the husband began to hide from her financial transactions.

When suggesting divorce in November 2013, Potanin, according to his wife, insisted that there should be no division of the property, since there is no property anymore: it was transferred to charity. The same was confirmed by representatives of the businessman in court. But Natalia is not inclined to trust this information and has already received in the US court authorities a permission to search for the assets of her husband.

The Senior partner of the Law firm “BIEL” Philipp Ryabchenko who acted as a lawyer of Natalia Potanina, confirmed to reporters that his client “does not preclude the submission of a claim for division of the marital property and challenge of some deals”. He also said: “We are looking for Mr. Potanin's assets worldwide. As we understand it, the majority of the assets was hidden under the “corporate veil”. Procedures in the United States are the part of the process of information collecting“.

According to experts, Natalia and her defenders have a chance to “derail this corporate veil”: legal practice in Russia in recent years shows that businessmen who temporarily transferred the rights to its assets to various funds and trusts very rare manage to get free from the claims of creditors or the division of property at divorce.