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Hogan Lovells is Successful in Contempt of Court Judgment in JSC BTA Bank v Mukhtar Ablyazov

20 February 2012

LONDON, 20 FEBRUARY 2012 - Following a three week trial at the end of 2011, the High Court has handed down judgment in favour of JSC BTA Bank, finding its former chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, guilty of numerous counts of contempt of court.  He has been sentenced to 22 months in prison.

It is the latest in a series of judgments arising out of one of the largest claims currently before the English courts, where the total sums claimed by BTA exceed US$4.5 billion. 
BTA brought proceedings for contempt of court in May 2011 after evidence obtained via a number of procedures, including search orders in England and Cyprus and disclosure orders against an email service provider, showed that Ablyazov had committed numerous breaches of the freezing order granted against him at the outset of the case.

The contempts of court alleged by BTA included the disposal of assets worth almost US$100 million and misleading the court on oath by denying ownership of a number of valuable properties in the UK - including a nine-bedroom mansion on The Bishop's Avenue in Hampstead worth around £15 million and a 100-acre estate near Windsor with a value of nearly £20 million - and several valuable offshore companies.

Hogan Lovells has been acting for BTA Bank since May 2009 – one of the largest banks in Kazakhstan – in a series of major fraud cases before the English Courts.  A total of nine claims have been issued in the Commercial Court and Chancery Divisions against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others for a total of approximately US$5 billion plus interest.

The full judgment can be found here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2012/237.html

The BTA team for the trial included: Chris Hardman (Partner, litigation); Richard Lewis (Senior Associate, litigation); Alex Sciannaca (Senior Associate, litigation); and Emma Dearnaley (Associate, litigation).

ENDS

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