The following is a selection of the numerous fraud cases we have dealt with over the years, acting for claimants and defendants. The cases on which PCB Litigation has acted span numerous industry sectors, including financial, energy and natural resources, telecommunications, and real estate.
Acting against a prominent Kazakh family in a claim for US$450m plus interest based on deceit, breach of fiduciary duty and sham contracts. It commenced with our obtaining freezing orders in England, Jersey, Guernsey and BVI, each in the sum of US$500m together with proprietary injunctions. We also obtained search orders that were executed simultaneously at 3 different premises at the same time that the freezing orders were served, as well as third party disclosure orders against various banks, solicitors, ISPs and others. In addition, we successfully resisted an application for fortification of the cross-undertaking in damages in the sum of US$100m and obtained orders against the Defendants for cross-examination as to their assets. The case settled shortly thereafter.
PCB were instructed to defend a claim to set aside a consent order in previous proceedings on the basis that the consent order was procured by alleged duress. The underlying claims which had been litigated extensively in the previous proceedings involved the alleged corporate identity theft of an English company, which ultimately held assets in various shares and real estate said to be worth in excess of US$35 million. We interviewed various third parties and obtained information that the Claimant had previously been convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison in Israel. We used lawyers in Israel to find out further information about the conviction and then interviewed other third parties in Israel to obtain further information and documentation showing that the Claimant had a history of fraud and forgery. In light of this evidence and following a successful application for security for costs, PCB obtained the dismissal of the proceedings and freezing orders/interim attachments for costs in 5 jurisdictions, before recovering those costs in full. This rapid turnaround took place within 6 months of instruction.
We acted for one of Russia’s largest banks in a US$350m deceit, conspiracy and breach of contract claim against a high profile Russian businessman and one of Russia’s largest private equity companies. We ran both the substantive litigation in England and managed ancillary freezing order proceedings in Cyprus, Cayman and BVI, where we dealt with evidence and written submissions, working closely with local advocates. We obtained a worldwide freezing order in England for US$200 million and an order permitting us to defer service pending successful ex parte applications for freezing orders in BVI, Cayman and Cyprus. The case involved numerous complex legal issues, including the ability to pierce the corporate veil, whether the Cayman Court had jurisdiction to grant free-standing freezing order relief, the role of the ancillary Court in granting freezing orders, the doctrine of res inter alios acta and choice of law and forum conveniens in international fraud cases
PCB have acted as lead lawyers for a large Russian Bank, coordinating and instructing lawyers in BVI, Jersey and Cyprus in an action to enforce Russian judgments for US$50m against an individual who has apparently sought to hide his assets through a complex structure of Russian, Cypriot and BVI companies and a Jersey Foundation. We have devised a strategy to attack the offshore holding structures of the key asset, being land in Russia. We have therefore obtained freezing orders in BVI, Jersey and Cyprus. Unusually, we persuaded the Cypriot Court that it was appropriate to grant a receivership order at the same time as the freezing order, on the basis that the latter would not be sufficient to prevent dissipation of assets. Novel legal issues include seeking to pierce the corporate veil of a Jersey Foundation, testing the limits of the circumstances in which transactions to defraud creditors can be set aside in Jersey as the transaction in question has not been carried out by the judgment debtor himself, obtaining a free-standing worldwide disclosure order in Jersey against a non-Jersey party.
We acted for an exclusive London casino in a claim based upon on dishonoured cheques that had been drawn in its favour in the sum of £2 million from one of its customers. We obtained a freezing order against the customer (in the Isle of Man, Geneva and Greece as well as in England), an order that he deliver up his passport and an order restraining the aircraft he was believed to own from leaving the jurisdiction. The aircraft was located at a UK airport and the orders were served minutes before it was due to leave. We successfully opposed the Defendant’s attempts to discharge these orders, both at first instance and on appeal, whilst at the same time obtaining numerous without notice disclosure orders against banks and accountants combined with gagging orders to prevent them from notifying the Defendant of those orders. The information obtained was used to demonstrate that the aeroplane was beneficially owned by the casino’s customer despite his assertions to the contrary, and that he was able to pay £2 million into Court as a condition of defending the claim, a matter he unsuccessfully disputed at first instance and on appeal. Following further disclosure orders against a company through which we believed substantial commissions for the customer from prospective deals would pass, the Defendants settled the case.