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August 2015

Aug 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation was recognised for being home to a trio of “outstanding” asset recovery lawyers by the International “Who’s Who” Legal Asset Recovery 2015: “world-class” Steven Philippsohn (one of only five Most Highly Regarded Individuals in Europe), “great tactician” Anthony Riem and Trevor Mascarenhas.
PCB Litigation has obtained judgment for £2m plus interest and indemnity costs on behalf of the Ritz Club against billionaire Safa Al Geabury. As was widely reported in the national press, Mr Al Geabury claimed that he had a gambling addiction and the Ritz Club ought to have stopped him gambling; he counterclaimed for £4m that he lost gambling at the Ritz Club. In dismissing his counterclaim and giving judgment for the Ritz Club, Mrs Justice Simler was persuaded on the facts presented by PCB and Clive Freedman QC that Mr Geabury had no gambling addiction. Read More

Bank Enforces Judgement against Assets held for Liechtenstein Foundation

Jul 2015
Fraud updates
In a judgment handed down yesterday, PCB Litigation successfully obtained the appointment of execution receivers over the membership interests of an English LLP. Those membership interests were registered in the names of third parties who in turn claimed to be holding those interests for the benefit of a Liechtenstein foundation, of which the judgment debtor, Mr Skurikhin was merely a discretionary beneficiary. However, the Court was prepared to look at the reality of the position that the judgment debtor either had a right to call for the assets of the foundation to be transferred to him or had de facto control of those assets. Thus the membership interests in the LLP should be considered in equity to be the judgment debtor’s assets and that it was open to the court to appoint a receiver over them. Having reached those conclusions on the facts, the Court considered it plainly just and convenient for receivers to be appointed. The English LLP holds valuable real estate in Italy and the demands of justice include promotion of the policy that judgments of the English Court should be complied with and if necessary enforced. The case is reported at JSC VTB Bank v Skurikhin and others [2015] EWHC 2131 (Comm) with Tim Penny, instructed by PCB Litigation, appearing for VTB Bank. PCB Litigation has already succeeded in obtaining worldwide freezing order relief against Mr Skurikhin, obtaining judgments from the English Court based upon Russian judgments, and having Mr Skurikhin committed to prison for failing to disclose assets. The case has previously shown the English Court’s willingness to recognise and enforce foreign judgments where there is no reciprocal enforcement treaty in place between the foreign jurisdiction and England. This latest judgment now demonstrates the willingness of the English Court to look at the reality of the position when confronted by complex structures disguising the true ownership of assets, and to prevent defendants making themselves judgment-proof. Read More

July 2015

Jul 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation hosted a seminar on the latest developments in asset recovery. Steven Philippsohn and Trevor Mascarenhas presented together with Clive Freedman QC on the subjects of Norwich Pharmacal orders, trust busting and piercing the corporate veil.
PCB Litigation has made a successful application for the rectification of the Companies House register to remove an unauthorised and wrongfully registered notice of appointment of an administrative receiver to a solvent training company.
PCB Litigation has been instructed to act on a multi-million dollar commodities fraud in Central Europe. Read More

June 2015

Jun 2015
PCB news
Steven has accepted invitations to speak to 2 Organisations in Hong Kong on Fraud in Arbitration Cases.
Steven Philippsohn was a member of a Panel speaking on Global Asset Recovery at the St Petersburg Legal Forum.
PCB Litigation is advising on a billion dollar corporate fraud in which substantial assets have been transferred to multiple jurisdictions. Read More

May 2015

May 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation are advising an Asian Bank on an internal fraud issue.
PCB Litigation has been retained on behalf of an Asian client in injunction proceedings arising out of a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration in the oil and gas industry.
PCB Litigation has been retained in respect of various claims involving the estate of a high net worth individual.
PCB Litigation has been retained to act in a $600 million ICSID arbitration involving an African state. Read More

Supreme Court holds fraudulent conduct of directors cannot be attributed to company

Apr 2015
Fraud updates
Many frauds are carried out using corporate vehicles, which ultimately transpire to be little more than empty shells. Victims of the fraud and other creditors will often want to look to those who have breached their duties to the company in allowing the fraud to be perpetrated. Such claims have been brought though liquidators or administrators, but in a leading case, the House of Lords in (Moore Stephens v Stone Rolls Limited [2009] UKHL 39) determined that a "one man company" was fixed with the knowledge of the fraudulent director, so the company was found to have also acted fraudulently and was barred from bringing a claim against auditors by public policy preventing a claimant relying on its own illegal conduct. In Jetivia SA and another (Appellants) v Bilta (UK) Limited and others (Respondents) [2015] UKSC 23, the Supreme Court unanimously held that where there was a claim by the company and its liquidators for breach of a director’s duty, it would be unjust and absurd to attribute the wrongdoing of the director to the company he or she had damaged. This decision is to be welcomed in assisting victims of fraud to obtain redress against those ultimately responsible. Read More

PCB Retained in $650m Middle East Dispute

Apr 2015
Fraud updates
PCB Litigation is acting for Majid Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al Refai, the former managing director and chief executive of the Bahrain based, Bank Alkhair in the recently commenced first trial of the US$650 million legal dispute involving the Bank and the Saudi Arabian based property group, Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company as reported on 31 March in the attached Financial Times article: Read here Read More

March 2015

Mar 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation has been retained in respect of claims arising from an apparent multi-million pound real estate investment fraud.
PCB Litigation has successfully settled a substantial dispute concerning the acquisition of high value prime real estate in London. Read More

Wealth owned by Criminals has ‘vanished abroad’- UK FBI

Feb 2015
Fraud updates
This week's admission by the Head of the UK National Crime Agency, dubbed 'Britain's FBI,' that only a small fraction of the amount confiscated from criminals was due to money being transferred abroad demonstrates their apparent absence of resources that are available in other asset recovery processes. The Civil Courts enable victims of fraud to obtain Court Orders in numerous jurisdictions to locate and arrest assets that have been deliberately concealed. As the UK member of the worldwide network of the ICC specialist asset recovery task force, PCB have 24/7 access to global resources making them one of the market leaders in developing and implementing successful strategies for the recovery of assets. For further information please contact Steven Philippsohn, Anthony Riem or Trevor Mascarenhas. Read More

February 2015

Feb 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation has been retained to advise on a Middle East shareholders dispute to be resolved under ICC Arbitration Rules.
PCB Litigation has been retained to act for a European Government Investment Fund in a multimillion dollar fraud involving Switzerland, UK and other jurisdictions Read More

January 2015

Jan 2015
PCB news
PCB Litigation has been retained in a major international design and manufacturing dispute submitted to ICC arbitration involving US interim relief and multiple jurisdictions
PCB Litigation has been retained by a high profile financier in relation to multi-million dollar claims involving numerous jurisdictions.
PCB Litigation has triumphed in the Privy Council in a case that has important implications for disputes involving shareholders of BVI companies. Read More.
A case in which PCB Litigation acts for the primary defendant to a US$1bn Commercial Court claim has been named by The Lawyer as one of the top 20 cases of 2015. Read More

PCB Triumphs in Privy Council Jurisdiction Battle

Jan 2015
Fraud updates
  PCB Litigation has successfully appealed a decision of the BVI Court of Appeal which has important implications for the shareholders of 700,000+ BVI holding companies. When the proceedings were issued in BVI, PCB were instructed by the primary defendant to deal with the overall strategy of the litigation, and took the view that it was wrong for their client to be faced with claims in the BVI Court about ownership of shares in a BVI company, where the underlying facts had nothing to do with the BVI. PCB Litigation partner Trevor Mascarenhas said: “We took the view when this claim was issued 5 years ago that it had been issued in the wrong forum. We sought to agree that it be heard in England, which was clearly the appropriate forum for this claim, but the Claimants did not agree. We are delighted that the Privy Council has now vindicated our client’s decision to dispute jurisdiction” The case “If foreigners incorporate companies in the BVI they must expect to have to come to the BVI to litigate disputes going to the membership and administration of such companies”. This sweeping statement by the BVI Court of Appeal raised the spectre of shareholders of BVI companies being dragged before the BVI Courts to respond to claims in which the underlying facts have nothing at all to do with the BVI. Nilon Ltd and another v Royal Westminster Investments SA and others [2015] UKPC 2 was just such a case. It related to an agreement made in England between individuals to operate a commercial venture through one of the BVI’s 700,000+ holding companies, and a dispute as to who under the agreement were to be the shareholders. The Claimants sought to have their alleged shareholdings recognised by bringing a claim to rectify the register of members of the company, Nilon, and to join the existing shareholder, Mr Varma, as a necessary and proper party to that rectification claim. Mr Varma succeeded before the Judge in setting aside permission to serve him out of the jurisdiction and Nilon had the claim struck out. However, the Court of Appeal in BVI reversed that decision, holding that rectification proceedings were a suitable vehicle for the hearing of the underlying contractual dispute and that BVI was clearly the appropriate forum for such proceedings. PCB Litigation, who had acted for Mr Varma at all stages, instructed Richard Snowden QC and Stuart Ritchie QC before the Privy Council on appeal from the BVI Court of Appeal. The Privy Council held that rectification proceedings could not be used to determine questions of beneficial interests in shares, finding that the English Court of Appeal decision in Re Hoicrest Ltd [2000] 1 WLR 414 on which the Respondents and BVI Court of Appeal had placed much reliance was wrongly decided. Although that was determinative of the appeal in favour of Mr Varma and Nilon, the Privy Council went on to consider the Court of Appeal’s approach to appropriate forum given that it raised a point of general principle. Before the matter reached the Privy Council the BVI had introduced new rules with a new gateway allowing the BVI Court to assert jurisdiction in any claim that relates to the ownership of a BVI company, subject to the Court being satisfied BVI is the appropriate forum. The Privy Council made it clear that the BVI Court of Appeal’s approach was wrong. The fact that Nilon is a BVI company was not a factor that outweighed the many factors pointing away from BVI as the appropriate forum such as the location of the agreement, parties and witnesses. PCB Litigation has been instructed in numerous disputes where the substantive proceedings take place in offshore and other overseas jurisdictions, or where the strategy requires interim relief to be obtained from Courts all around the World. If you would like any further information, please contact Steven Philippsohn, Anthony Riem or Trevor Mascarenhas. Read More