Hogan Lovells Wins High Court Freezing Order Battle
06 January 2015
LONDON, 6 JANUARY 2015 - The High Court has ruled that a worldwide £1.17 billion freezing order in relation to Sergei Pugachev's assets should remain in place after Hogan Lovells successfully argued that the previous injunction had been rightly granted and should be upheld.
Hogan Lovells is acting on behalf of the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), the liquidator of Mr Pugachev’s former bank Mezhprombank, which collapsed in 2010 with a deficit of over US$2 billion. Mezhprombank was formerly one of the largest privately owned commercial banks in Russia.
The DIA originally commenced proceedings against Mr Pugachev in Russia in December 2013 after he was accused of helping himself to over US$2 billion from Mezhprombank, while allegedly controlling and beneficially owning it. Mr Pugachev denies that he had any involvement with the Bank's affairs after he was appointed as a "Senator" in the Russian parliament in 2001, and he denies that the relevant transactions were illegitimate.
Civil proceedings were subsequently initiated against Mr Pugachev in England in July 2014. At the same time, an injunction freezing Mr Pugachev's worldwide assets up to the value of £1.17 billion, and requiring him to disclose all his assets worth £10,000 or more, was granted by the High Court of Justice on 11 July 2014 in support of the proceedings in Russia.
Mr Pugachev has also been ordered to disclose information in relation to a number of discretionary trusts established in New Zealand which are connected with him and members of his family, including details of the assets held within the trusts. In a previous judgment dated 30 October 2014, the High Court dismissed an application by the trustees of the trusts to set aside the disclosure order.
Mr Pugachev has not yet provided the trusts disclosure and both Mr Pugachev and the trustees are challenging the disclosure order in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal hearing is due to take place in February 2015.
Separate criminal proceedings are pending against Mr Pugachev in relation to the Bank’s insolvency in Russia and Mr Pugachev is currently the subject of an Interpol "red notice".
The Hogan Lovells team includes partners Michael Roberts and Alexei Dudko and Of Counsel Rebecca Wales.
For more information, see www.hoganlovells.com
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