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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

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