Hogan Lovells Victory in Court – Sergei Pugachev found Guilty of 12 allegations of Contempt of Court
08 February 2016
Hogan Lovells has today had significant success in the High Court, which found Sergei Pugachev guilty on 12 counts of contempt of court. He will be sentenced on Thursday 11 February 2016 and could face a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Among other matters, Mrs Justice Rose found that Mr Pugachev had given false evidence on oath, dissipated assets in breach of a worldwide freezing injunction, and left the UK in breach of a court-imposed travel restriction.
Hogan Lovells' client, the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), brought the committal application against Mr Pugachev after he fled to France following orders to disclose his assets, and despite an injunction prohibiting him from leaving the UK and a warrant for his arrest.
Partner Michael Roberts, who led the team representing the DIA, says:
"This is a significant decision which confirms that Mr Pugachev has repeatedly lied to the Court, breached the Court's orders, including by concealing significant assets, and cannot be trusted. It is an important step forward in the DIA's ongoing efforts to recover assets for the Bank's creditors".
The committal trial took place in London over six days in December 2015, during which Mr Pugachev was cross-examined by video link from an undisclosed location in France.
The DIA commenced proceedings against Mr Pugachev in Russia in December 2013 after he was accused of helping himself to over US$2 billion from Mezhprombank, while allegedly controlling and beneficially owning it.
Civil proceedings were subsequently initiated against Mr Pugachev in England in July 2014. At the same time, an injunction freezing Mr Pugachev's worldwide assets up to the value of £1.17 billion, and requiring him to disclose all his assets worth £10,000 or more, was granted by the High Court of Justice on 11 July 2014 in support of the proceedings in Russia.
The DIA obtained judgment against Mr Pugachev in Russia in April 2015 in the amount of over US$ 1 billion. Following the dismissal of two separate appeals by Mr Pugachev, Hogan Lovells has now issued further proceedings to have the judgment enforced in this jurisdiction.
The Hogan Lovells team includes partners Michael Roberts and Rebecca Wales (London) and Alexei Dudko (Moscow).