The long-running $4 billion dispute between two Russian businessmen for a 20 percent stake of aluminum giant RUSAL is set to be heard in the U.K. courts.
In a judgment handed down last week (July 3), Justice Christopher Clarke confirmed Michael Cherney could pursue his claims against RUSAL owner Oleg Deripaska in England.
Israeli-based businessman Cherney claims that as a result of a deal struck in London in 2001, Deripaska agreed to hold a 20 percent stake in RUSAL in trust for him.
The judge ruled that there was a risk that Cherney could not get a fair trial in Russia and so concluded the proceedings could take place in England.
In the judgment , Justice Clarke stated: "the risks inherent in a trial in Russia (assassination, arrest on trumped-up charges and lack of a fair trial) are sufficient to make England the forum in which the case can most suitably be tried in the interests of both parties and the ends of justice and, accordingly, the proper place for the determination of this claim."
Earlier this year, High Court Judge Justice Langley ruled that Deripaska was not based in England for civil jurisdiction purposes, despite owning a property in London’s Belgravia.
DechertLondon litigation partner Andrew Hearn and associate Matthew Magee have been instructed to advise Cherney with former Bar Council Chairman Geoffrey Vos QC instructed as counsel.
Bryan Cave disputes partner Nick Cherryman is advising Deripaska with Four New Square Roger Stewart QC instructed as counsel.
Meanwhile, four Russians in the Alfa-Access-Renova Consortium (AAR) could launch legal action against BP over their oil joint venture TNK-BP.
Lovells, SJ Berwin and Cravath Swaine & Moore have been instructed to advise the Russians and reportedly prepare legal actions against BP in multiple jurisdictions if TNK-BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley is not dismissed following a management vote Monday.
The move comes after reported differences within the joint venture.
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