Hogan Lovells Secures Ground Breaking Enforcement of Court Judgment in Russia
22 May 2015
LONDON, 22 May 2015 – Hogan Lovells has achieved another ground breaking judgment in the Mukhtar Ablyazov case involving BTA Bank, with the Russian Court ruling that an English High Court judgment handed down in November 2012 is to be enforced in Russia.
In one of the biggest fraud cases ever to have come before the English courts, BTA Bank issued 11 claims in England alone against Mr Ablyazov with a combined value in excess of $6 billion. The ruling in 2012 ordered the debtors, Roman Vladimirovich Solodchenko, AMK-Invest, and TuranAlem to between them pay US$729 million, and, following the success of the Hogan Lovells team in Moscow, the Russian Court handed down a judgment on 7 May confirming this will now be enforced in Russia.
This represents the largest amount ever to be enforced pursuant to a foreign court judgment in the history of Russian law.
Our Moscow trial team representing BTA Bank before the Russian courts was led by partner Alexei Dudko, assisted by counsel, Anton Smirnov, senior associate, Maria Yaremenko, and associate, Ekaterina Ryabkova. They were assisted in London by partners Chris Hardman and Richard Lewis, counsel, Rebecca Wales, and senior associate Dan Armstrong.
Alexei Dudko, said:
"This is a huge decision not just for the BTA bank case but for foreign court judgments across the board. It is another demonstration of the many groundbreaking legal precedents we are continuing to set throughout this case and we look forward to continuing our work on behalf of BTA."
Notes to editors
- BTA Bank launched global legal proceedings against Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates in 2009 after auditors at PwC identified a massive hole – more than $10 billion – in the Bank’s balance sheets. This led to the discovery of a large-scale fraud committed by Mukhtar Ablyazov while he was Chairman of the Bank.
- The legal proceedings in England consist of 11 claims filed by BTA Bank in the English High Court seeking to recover more than US$6 billion in assets misappropriated by Mr Ablyazov. The Bank has secured judgments for more than US$4 billion and is in the process of seeking to enforce those judgments against assets currently held in receivership.
- As previously reported, Mr Ablyazov was found guilty of contempt of court in February 2012 and sentenced to three concurrent 22 month prison sentences. Mr Ablyazov fled the jurisdiction before sentencing and was subsequently debarred from defending various claims brought against him by BTA Bank. His appeals against the contempt and debarral orders were dismissed by the Court of Appeal in November 2012, with Lord Justice Maurice Kay observing that "It is difficult to imagine a party to commercial litigation who has acted with more cynicism, opportunism and deviousness towards court orders than Mr. Ablyazov". On 26 February 2013, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom refused Mr Ablyazov's application for permission to appeal the debarral judgment.