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December 2014

Dec 2014
PCB news
Steven Philippsohn has been recognised by Thomson Reuters in its Super Lawyers London 2014. click here to see the list. Read More

Interim relief in aid of foreign proceedings in the Cayman Islands

Nov 2014
Fraud updates
In a welcome development for victims of international fraud, the Cayman Islands’ legislature has passed an act giving its courts the power to grant interim relief in aid of foreign proceedings. The act came into force on 20 October 2014. The act puts on a statutory footing (and extends) the Grand Court’s landmark 2011 decision in VTB Capital Plc v Malofeev, a case in which PCB Litigation LLP acted for the claimants. In that case the Court was asked to, and did, grant a worldwide free-standing freezing injunction against two Defendants in support of proceedings in the English High Court, despite no substantive proceedings being brought in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands’ Grand Court can now order any interim relief available to it in domestic proceedings in respect of proceedings which have or are to be commenced in an overseas court, and which could give rise to an enforceable judgment in the Cayman Islands. This is even the case where the cause of action being litigated in the foreign proceedings is not one which could be litigated in the Cayman Islands. However, the Courts are reminded in the act that the new power is ancillary to the foreign proceedings, and that the purpose of the power is assist the foreign court which has primary jurisdiction over the dispute. As with similar legislation in other jurisdictions, the Cayman Courts will be entitled to refuse an application for interim relief if it would be unjust or inconvenient to make an order. The new legislation is timely step forward for the offshore jurisdiction, which is seeking to bolster its reputation as a lead actor in the fight against global fraud and corruption. Read More

Committing a defendant to prison

Nov 2014
Fraud updates
In a judgment obtained last week, PCB obtained orders committing a defendant to prison. The background is PCB is acting for the claimant, VTB Bank, against a Russian businessman, Pavel Skurikhin. VTB Bank has been taking steps to enforce Russian judgments obtained by it against Mr Skurikhin against assets in this jurisdiction. VTB Bank had previously succeeded in having the Russian judgments recognised in England and obtained freezing orders against Mr Skurikhin. Last Friday, VTB obtained orders from the English Court to commit Mr Skurikhin to prison for 12 months for his failure to comply with court orders in relation to his disclosure of assets and a sentence of 4 months for his failure to attend an oral examination of his assets. The sentence of 4 months was suspended to enable Mr Skurikhin to attend Court at a subsequent hearing and provide the required disclosure as to his assets. The case highlights the fact that where there is a real risk that assets will be dissipated to prevent the enforcement of a client’s rights, the Courts will not only make orders to seek to preserve those assets but will have no hesitation in committing the defaulting party to prison should he breach or procure the breach of those orders. Read More

November 2014

Nov 2014
PCB news
PCB Litigation has successfully recovered substantial damages for a client in an investment dispute.
PCB Litigation advised a top European Bank as to the remedies available to recover substantial indebtedness.
PCB Litigation was again highly ranked by Chambers UK 2015 for its work in the area of fraud, the team recognised for being “instructed to handle high-value, international disputes”. Steven Philippsohn, Anthony Riem and Trevor Mascarenhas are all noted as leading individuals in the field. Steven is "an eminent player in the fraud world", Anthony Riem is "a master of detail", and Trevor Mascarenhas has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things legal." Read More

PCB Litigation’s Role in major Commercial Court Case

Oct 2014
Fraud updates
On 3 October 2014, the Financial Times published the attached report concerning an on-going application for the alleged contempt of the managing director of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, Saudi’s largest real estate firm, the Claimant in this together with Bank Alkhair based in Bahrain. The proceedings were commenced in 2012 against a number of Defendants. PCB Litigation is acting for one of the Defendants, the former Managing Director and CEO of Bank Alkhair, Majid Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al Refai, an investment banker and resident of Kuwait. The trial is due to start in March 2015 and expected to be one of the largest trials to be heard in the English Commercial Court next year. It has been listed by The Lawyer magazine as one of the largest cases in 2014. Read More

October 2014

Oct 2014
PCB news
PCB Litigation was top-ranked again by The Legal 500 in Civil Fraud, with Steven Philippsohn listed as a leading individual. The Legal 500 said: Flourishing litigation boutique PCB Litigation LLP, though relatively small, has ‘real quality'. Steven Philippsohn is ‘very aggressive for clients ’ aims', Trevor Mascarenhas has ‘a brilliant mind', and Anthony Riem has ‘great client skills'. The team is particularly active in the CIS, and recently hired Marta Khomyak.
PCB Litigation has been ranked again by The Legal 500 in commercial litigation and Banking litigation. In respect of commercial litigation, The Legal 500 said: PCB Litigation LLP’s Anthony Riem provides ‘pragmatic, creative solutions', and Trevor Mascarenhas is ‘extremely bright and user-friendly'. … Steven Philippsohn is highly rated. In the section on Banking litigation, it said: PCB Litigation LLP offers a ‘partner-led proactive approach at sensible rates'. ... Steven Philippsohn is a ‘great strategist and fighter'; Anthony Riem has ‘excellent strategic vision and client skills'; and Trevor Mascarenhas is an ‘outstanding lawyer and strategist'. Read More

September 2014

Sep 2014
PCB news
Trevor Mascarenhas gave a presentation in Switzerland on international asset recovery at a seminar organised by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Steven Philippsohn was described as “one of the highest-regarded individuals in research” and “a leading authority on asset recovery” in the International Who’s Who Legal: Asset Recovery 2014. Anthony Riem and Trevor Mascarenhas were also featured as leaders in the field.
PCB Litigation has been retained to advise a client on potential multi-million dollar claims for breach of duty against a company director.
PCB Litigation has advised in respect of threatened multi-million pound claims against a major UK bank.
PCB Litigation has been retained in relation to a sophisticated international fraud, involving email hacking and identity theft. Read More

Supreme Court confirms proprietary claims against recipients of bribes

Aug 2014
Fraud updates
In the recent case of FHR European Ventures LLP and others v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2014] UKSC 45 , the Supreme Court settled a long-running debate as to whether a principal has a proprietary claim against its agent for bribes or secret commissions it receives, or a merely personal claim. Overruling its 152 year old decision in Tyrell v Bank of London (1862) 10 HL Cas, the Supreme Court held that a bribe or secret profit obtained by an agent is held on constructive trust for the principal. As such, the principal will have a proprietary claim to the bribe or its proceeds as against the agent, and also against third parties to whom the proceeds may be traced. The decision is of great significance to fraud claims as it enables a principal’s claim to precede those of the unsecured creditors of the agent. It will also enable the principal to trace into the hands of recipients of funds, which is likely to be of great assistance to claimants in bribery cases where the defendant itself has no assets. Read More

August 2014

Aug 2014
PCB news
PCB Litigation has been retained on a multi million dollar claim involving a European Bank and proceedings in the US and the UK.
PCB Litigation has been retained in proceedings to be brought by a beneficiary of an estate holding substantial assets in multiple jurisdictions.
PCB Litigation has secured substantial compensation for a victim of an interest rate swap misselling from a major UK bank. Read More

July 2014

Jul 2014
PCB news
PCB Litigation has been retained by a former company director to defend allegations of diversion of corporate opportunities said to be worth around US$1.5m. Read More

Potential corporate fraud amendment to Bribery Act 2010

Jul 2014
Fraud updates
The Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC, is planning on hosting a meeting across the Government to discuss possible amendments to the Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”). Amongst the amendments likely to be discussed includes a proposal by David Green, the head of the Serious Fraud Office, to extend the ambit of section 7 of the Act, so that corporate liability to prevent acts of employees is increased to cover “financial crime” generally, not just bribery, as is currently the case. Such an amendment would extend the scope of the SFO’s powers to impose US style fines on businesses that do not have adequate systems and procedures in place to prevent financial crime being perpetrated by their employees. In February 2014, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Green was cautious to say that the power would be used only in “exceptional cases”, for example where a company had made a profit from the criminal behaviour of its employees, a position that seems to take aim at organisations such as banks which may well have become culpable in the wake of the Libor rigging scandal had such legislation been in place at the time. It is also envisaged that the proposed amendment could prevent firms convicted under the revised Act from bidding for public contracts under EU procurement rules, which could be both a commercial blow and a potential stigma against such firms. The proposed amendments to the Act would need to be approved by Parliament, however they are likely to receive strong support from law enforcement agencies and consumer groups. If such proposals are passed, it will be even more incumbent on senior management to understand their obligations to prevent fraud within their own organisations and to implement rigorous systems to prevent, monitor and report such activity. Read More

India targets overseas tax evaders

Jun 2014
Fraud updates
India's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has delivered a bold statement of intent directed against India's tax evaders. In one of his first acts as India's new premier, he has made the recovery of billions of dollars transferred into overseas accounts for the purpose of evading tax a top priority for his administration. One calculation puts the figure as high as $2 trillion. Modi has set up an investigative task force of former judges and current regulators to trace, track and repatriate assets sent abroad. This move follows similar moves in recent years by the UK and USA to close the net on individuals and corporates illegally moving funds overseas. In 2011, the South Asian continent ranked third in the world behind only China and Russia in respect to the illegal movement of money abroad according to a 2013 report by Global Financial Integrity. It is as yet unclear which methods the Indian government will deploy to seek the return of assets hidden overseas. There is a well-established principle of English law that the English courts will not involve themselves in the enforcement of another sovereign state's revenue law. However, to the extent that India's investigations give rise to claims that are not tax claims per se, but are instead civil or criminal claims of a different character, the English Courts are well placed to assist the Indian state in its legal processes. Provisions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, and s.25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgment Act 1982 grant the English Court dynamic powers to assist overseas claimants with civil or criminal asset recovery procedures. Moreover, the willingness of the English Court to assist overseas governments was emphasised in the recent case of United States v Abacha [2014] EWHC 993 (Comm), which highlighted the importance of international judicial cooperation in the fight against fraud. Read More