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Quillon law successfully defends Oleg Deripaska in Court of Appeal

Quillon law successfully defends Oleg Deripaska in Court of Appeal


In a significant victory for Oleg Deripaska, the Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed an appeal by Navigator Equities Limited and Vladimir Chernukhin in their attempt to commit Mr. Deripaska to prison for contempt of court. The decision, handed down on March 20, 2024, marks a crucial development in a long-running legal dispute

The Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss the appeal was based on two key findings:

  1. Interpretation of "Automatically Cancelled" Shares: The Court scrutinised the central claim made by the Claimants, which asserted that the shares had been "automatically cancelled," leading to the cessation of existence of the shares in question. The Court concluded that the Claimants had failed to prove, to the criminal standard, that the shares were indeed cancelled as alleged. Furthermore, the Court emphasised that the Claimants could not advance an alternative case on appeal that significantly deviated from their original allegations.
  2. Effect of the Vote on Continuance: The Court also found that the Claimants had not provided sufficient evidence to prove, to the criminal standard, that the vote of B-Finance in favour of the special resolution to approve the Continuance was determinative of whether the Continuance would take place.

Mark Hastings, Partner at Quillon Law representing Mr. Deripaska, expressed satisfaction with the Court of Appeal's decision, highlighting the surprise expressed by the Court regarding the lack of mention of the redomiciliation by Mr. Chernukhin despite prior press reports about it. Hastings stated that the Court's conclusion suggested either a lack of awareness on Mr. Chernukhin's part regarding the redomiciliation's significance or a deliberate decision not to raise the issue at the time.

The contempt application stemmed from a broader dispute between the Claimants and Mr. Deripaska, initially triggered by the imposition of US sanctions on Mr. Deripaska in May 2018. Despite Mr. Deripaska's subsequent payment to the Claimants in full satisfaction of the sums due to them in September 2019, the contempt application was pursued by the Claimants.

At the High Court level, HHJ Pelling KC ruled in favour of Mr. Deripaska, determining that the Claimants had failed to prove their allegations to the criminal standard. The Court emphasised that the Claimants had not provided expert evidence on the legal implications of the Continuance under Jersey or Russian law, nor had they pleaded any relevant proposition of Russian law in the application notice.

Mark Hastings led the legal team from Quillon Law, with support from various members of the firm, including Partner Abigail Healey, Managing Associate James Clark, Associate Charles Anderson, and Trainee Solicitor Colette Bacon. The legal team instructed Thomas Grant KC of Wilberforce Chambers and Caley Wright of Maitland Chambers.

The dismissal of the appeal by the Court of Appeal represents a significant legal victory for Oleg Deripaska, further solidifying Quillon Law's successful defense in this protracted legal battle.