Professional practice

C&P 2017

Anton’s practice spans all core areas of Chambers’ work, including commercial litigation, arbitration, civil fraud, energy and natural resources, and banking and financial services. Recent entries in the legal directories describe Anton as a “superb advocate and draftsman, absolutely top-notch”; “phenomenally clever on the legal side”; “also has a very good sense for the more strategic aspects”; “excellent advocate and tactician”; “the sort of lawyer every corporation should have”; “always on top of everything, and seems to absorb information at an incredible rate”; “very clever, very strategic and very thoughtful”.

Anton is recommended in Chambers & Partners for Commercial Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration and Civil Fraud; and in Legal 500 for Energy and Civil Fraud. He was recently shortlisted for International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards and selected by Legal Week as one of the ‘Stars of the Bar’ in 2016. Anton is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Future Leaders (for both arbitration and litigation) and is named as one of the ‘Rising Stars’ by the same publication.

Many of Anton’s instructions are high-value disputes with a prominent international element, including issues of state immunity, jurisdiction, choice of law, and the application of foreign law. He has acted and advised on claims made by and against sovereign states (including enforcement proceedings and challenges to arbitration awards).

Anton has extensive and varied experience of hearings in this jurisdiction and abroad, including a 12-week Commercial Court fraud trial against 19 defendants, a long-running arbitration involving claims valued at US$30+ billion relating to gas fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, an arbitration in Dubai, appearing in the Supreme Court (and Court of Appeal) of Gibraltar, and a trial in the Chancery Division concerning the authenticity of a Russian oil painting.

Anton is well acquainted with the major arbitral rules, including LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL. In the High Court in London, he is frequently instructed in applications including, in particular, for freezing orders and other interim relief, as well as post-judgment enforcement measures and committal proceedings.

Anton is accustomed to acting both as sole counsel and as part of a team of leading and other junior counsel, solicitors and experts. He is regularly instructed in CIS-related cases, being a native Russian speaker who was born in Russia and knows the country and its people. He also has experience of sitting as an arbitrator.

 

What others say

Anton is recommended in Chambers & Partners for Commercial Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration and Civil Fraud; and in Legal 500 for Energy and Civil Fraud. Comments have included:

“He is a superb advocate and draftsman, absolutely top-notch.”

Phenomenally clever on the legal side. He also has a very good sense for the more strategic aspects.

He is an excellent advocate and tactician.”

Very pleasant to work with, very clever, very strategic and very thoughtful.”

“Very commercial.” “A confident advocate.”

Highly responsive and very alert to the strategic issues as well as the legal ones.”

He’s always on top of everything, and seems to absorb information at an incredible rate.

Has been cultivating an excellent reputation in the market, attracting praise for his superb advocacy skills and insightful analysis of matters.”

An increasingly prominent junior barrister who is frequently involved in high-profile civil fraud claims at first instance and appellate level.

Really impressive and very intelligent. He gets the nuances and the really technical stuff and he is a very good draftsman.

He is hard-working, great on the detail and someone who drafts well. He is very intelligent and perceptive on the legal issues and easy to work with.”

His written advocacy is very precise and persuasive, and he has a very methodical and effective oral advocacy style.”

Anton was recently shortlisted for International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards, and appears in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration: Future Leaders. He is named as one of the ‘Rising Stars’ in Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2018, which notes that he is “lauded as an ‘incredibly productive, hard-working and user-friendly’ arbitration counsel who is ‘a pleasure to work with, especially under severe time pressure’. One source comments that Dudnikov is ‘the sort of lawyer every corporation should have’”. Anton also appears in Who’s Who Legal: Litigation – Future Leaders 2018.

In 2016, Anton was selected by Legal Week as one of the ‘Stars of the Bar’ – “ten most promising barristers of ten years call and under”. The article noted: “Dudnikov’s careful understanding, teamwork, drive, legal acumen and strong advocacy skills will make him a popular choice as a junior from leaders both inside and outside his set, one from which firms and clients can only benefit”.

Examples of recent cases

National Bank Trust v Yurov & others. Acting (with Nathan Pillow QC) for a major Russian bank in a claim for more than US$800 million against former directors and shareholders. 33-day trial concluded in November 2018; successfully resisted an application to discharge a worldwide freezing order in 2016.

Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Sergiy Taruta & others. Acting (with David Foxton QC and Nathan Pillow QC) for a Ukrainian politician and businessman in a US$2bn+ dispute concerning a Ukrainian metals business and other assets. Trial in the Commercial Court is listed for 8 weeks in 2019.

Pearl Petroleum Co Ltd v Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (settled in September 2017). Long-running LCIA dispute in connection with the development and exploitation of gas fields in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, described in Global Arbitration Review as “one of the highest-value gas disputes in the Middle East, with claims valued at over US$39 billion”. A decision of the Commercial Court in connected enforcement proceedings, involving state immunity issues, is reported at [2016] 4 WLR 2. Anton acted for the Government, led by Graham Dunning QC.

FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino & others [2018] EWHC 1768 (Comm). Acting for an asset management company owned by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in a fraud claim, relating to derivatives and structured product trades, against its former CEO and his associates. The Court upheld claims in bribery, breach of fiduciary duty and dishonest assistance in a judgment handed down in July 2018. The proceedings have involved an attempt by a defendant to release frozen proprietary assets, which was successfully resisted both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal: [2016] EWCA Civ 1301; and related bankruptcy proceedings in the Chancery Division: [2017] EWHC 3458 (Ch).

PAO Tatneft v Ukraine [2018] EWHC 1797 (Comm). Acting (with Philip Edey QC) for Ukraine in a jurisdiction challenge on state immunity grounds. The proceedings relate to the enforcement of a US$112 million arbitral award for breach of the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty. Permission to appeal has been granted by Butcher J on an issue of construction of the BIT.

Otkritie Capital International Ltd v Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 274. Acted (with Nathan Pillow QC) for a Russian bank in successfully opposing an application to strike out a vicarious liability claim for more than US$100 million made against the former employer of a dishonest co-conspirator. The Court of Appeal’s decision is a significant authority on the application of the guidelines laid down in Aldi Stores v WSP Group plc [2008] 1 WLR 748.

Otkritie v Olessia Jemai [2016] EWCA Civ 1316. Acted for the claimant judgment creditor in successfully resisting an appeal by a third party to the Court of Appeal against an order committing her to prison for 20 months for multiple contempts of court.

PCL v X [2015] 1 WLR 3948. Acted (with Graham Dunning QC) for a foreign government in a successful jurisdiction challenge in the Commercial Court, made on the basis of s. 12 of the State Immunity Act 1978. The proceedings related to the enforcement of a peremptory order made by a London-seated arbitral tribunal.

X v Y. Acted (with Graham Dunning QC) for a publicly listed oil and gas company in an arbitration relating to an offshore development project.

Otkritie v Ivory Key & others (Gibraltar Supreme Court and Court of Appeal). Fraud trial and subsequent appeal in Gibraltar concerning the ownership of funds deposited in an offshore bank account.

Arbitration & related court applications

Anton is recognised as a Leading Junior in this field by Chambers & Partners, and was recently shortlisted for International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards. He has also appeared in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration: Future Leaders for the last two years. He has experience of a wide range of arbitral proceedings under various institutional rules (including LCIA, ICC and UNCITRAL) and is equally comfortable working with and without leaders, and as co-counsel with firms of arbitration practitioners.

Anton’s recent and ongoing instructions include:

  • acting (with Graham Dunning QC) for the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq in a dispute with a UAE consortium, described in Global Arbitration Review as “one of the highest-value gas disputes in the Middle East, with claims valued at over US$39 billion” (LCIA);
  • acting (with Graham Dunning QC) for a shareholder in a BVI company seeking relief for unfair prejudice under s. 184I of the BVI Business Companies Act 2004 (LCIA);
  • acting (with Vernon Flynn QC) in an arbitration concerned with brand licensing arrangements, which settled in a deal estimated to be worth US$225 million (ICC);
  • acting (as sole counsel, against a QC from a well-known commercial set) for an investor in a claim relating to a property development project in Moscow (LCIA);
  • acting (with Graham Dunning QC) in a dispute between publicly listed international oil companies relating to a major offshore development project (ICC);
  • acting (as sole counsel) in a dispute between companies operating in the pharmaceutical industry (LCIA);
  • acting (with Richard Millett QC) in proceedings relating to a restructuring involving a major Russian state-owned bank (LCIA);
  • acting (with Geraldine Andrews QC) in an arbitration involving issues of South African law and state immunity (ICC);
  • acting (with Graham Dunning QC) in an arbitration in Dubai, involving a family feud and the division of a worldwide portfolio of assets (ICC); and
  • acting (with Geraldine Andrews QC) in a commodities arbitration relating to the supply of alumina (LCIA).

Anton also has considerable experience of arbitration-related proceedings in the Commercial Court. This includes applications under s. 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996, challenges to arbitration awards, and the enforcement of awards and peremptory orders. For example:

  • PAO Tatneft v Ukraine [2018] EWHC 1797 (Comm). Acting (with Philip Edey QC) for Ukraine in a jurisdiction challenge on state immunity grounds. The proceedings relate to the enforcement of a US$112 million arbitral award for breach of the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • PCL v X [2015] 1 WLR 3948. Acted (with Graham Dunning QC) for a foreign government in a successful jurisdiction challenge in the Commercial Court, made on the basis of s. 12 of the State Immunity Act 1978.
  • Pearl Petroleum Co Ltd v Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq [2016] 4 WLR 2. Acted (with Graham Dunning QC) in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the enforcement, under s. 42 of the Arbitration Act 1996, of a peremptory order made against a foreign government.
  • Telenor East Holdings II AS v Altimo Holdings & Investments Ltd [2011] Arb LR 9. Acted (with Huw Davies QC) in an application under s. 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 brought to restrain a corporate acquisition worth in excess of US$6 billion.
  • A v B State. Advised, in the context of an arbitration against a sovereign state, on (i) enforcement of a peremptory order; (ii) enforcement of a partial final award; and (iii) obtaining a freezing order and other relief in aid of enforcement.
  • C v D State. Advised on the enforcement of an UNCITRAL arbitration award against a sovereign state made in proceedings brought under an investment treaty. The case raised complex issues, including whether an ostensibly separate legal entity is an organ of the state; the scope and application of the ‘commercial purposes’ exception in s. 13(4) of the State Immunity Act 1978; and the effect of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.
  • E v F State. Acting for a sovereign state in proceedings relating to the enforcement of a New York Convention award. The case raises various issues relating to state immunity, including the scope of the ‘arbitration exception’ in s. 9 of the State Immunity Act 1978.
  • X v Y. Advising on an application for an injunction under s. 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 in the context of a dispute relating to a letter of credit.

For experience relating to “Bermuda Form” arbitrations, see “Insurance” below.

Banking & financial services

Anton has acted for and advised high street lenders in a variety of disputes with consumers and business customers. He has appeared in mortgage repossession hearings and on applications to obtain final charging orders and orders for sale. Recently, he advised an Isle of Man company in relation to a claim arising out of a well-publicised collapse of a fund that attracted more than £60 million from individual investors, and acted for a major UK bank in connection with a Spanish law share pledge securing a large corporate loan.

In 2018, Anton acted (with Nathan Pillow QC) for an asset management company in a claim relating to derivatives and structured product trades: FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino & others [2018] EWHC 1768 (Comm).

Other instructions include an advice for a major bank on the merits of defending a multi-million pound negligence claim brought by the subject of an erroneous credit reference, and for a ‘master merchant’ providing online processing facilities for payments made using MasterCard, in a dispute concerning the terms of a merchant agreement.

Civil fraud & asset tracing

Anton is recognised as a Leading Junior in this field by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. He is regularly instructed in high-value, complex civil fraud cases. He has extensive experience of trials (including a recent 33-day trial in the Commercial Court), interim applications (including freezing orders, Norwich Pharmacal and other disclosure orders, and cross-examination on assets), contempt of court and committal applications, and post-judgment measures for enforcement and asset recovery.

Anton is currently instructed by a major private Russian bank in a fraud claim (brought under Russian law) for more than US$800 million against former directors and shareholders and their wives: National Bank Trust v Yurov & others [2016] EWHC 1913 (Comm). Freezing orders were obtained in early 2016. Later that year, Anton was led by Nathan Pillow QC in a heavy 3- day hearing in the Commercial Court, successfully resisting a discharge application by one of the defendants. A 9-week trial concluded in November 2018.

Anton has also acted for an investment vehicle of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund against its former CEO and his associates. Cockerill J upheld claims in bribery, breach of fiduciary duty and dishonest assistance in a judgment handed down in July 2018: FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino & others [2018] EWHC 1768 (Comm). There have been many interlocutory hearings, including several unsuccessful attempts by the principal defendant to release frozen proprietary assets – most recently, in the Court of Appeal: [2016] EWCA Civ 1301. Anton was instructed (with Tom Smith QC) in related bankruptcy proceedings in the Chancery Division: [2017] EWHC 3458 (Ch).

Another substantial fraud case has been a 12-week trial before Eder J in the Commercial Court: Otkritie v Urumov [2014] EWHC 191 (Comm). Anton was led by Steven Berry QC in proceedings brought by a Russian bank against former employees, members of their families, and offshore vehicles involved in laundering the proceeds of fraud. The bank’s claims in deceit, conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt (totalling about US$175 million) were upheld, and indemnity costs orders were made against the defendants. In the middle of trial, some of the defendants made an unsuccessful expedited appeal: see [2013] EWCA Civ 1196.

Following the Otkritie trial, Anton was instructed in several related enforcement proceedings, including in relation to committal of various individuals to prison for contempt of Court; an application (as sole counsel) for the disclosure of documents to the City of London Police and Crown Prosecution Service; and applications for the sale of properties in St John’s Wood belonging to two of the defendants. More recently, there was an appeal (successfully resisted with Nathan Pillow QC) by a non-party against an order for committal to prison for 20 months: Otkritie v Olessia Jemai [2016] EWCA Civ 1316. Anton has also appeared as sole counsel on an ex parte application in the Commercial Court, seeking worldwide freezing and proprietary relief against a Bermudan company and its CEO, resident in Ukraine.

Anton has acted in an action against a well-known City fund, alleged to be vicariously liable for losses of more than US$100 million caused by their dishonest (former) employee: Otkritie Capital International Ltd v Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 274 (successfully resisting a strike-out application; the Court of Appeal’s decision is now a significant authority on the application of the guidelines laid down in Aldi Stores v WSP Group plc [2008] 1 WLR 748).

In Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Sergiy Taruta & others, Anton is currently acting (with David Foxton QC and Nathan Pillow QC) for a Ukrainian politician in a dispute with his business partners – the various claims are well in excess of US$2 billion, and each side accuses the other of serious fraud.

In 2016, Anton was admitted to the Bar in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, and has appeared there in a fraud trial and subsequent appeal to the local Court of Appeal in a case concerning the ownership of funds held in an offshore bank account.

Anton has also acted (with Richard Millett QC) for a former Ukrainian executive of an English company who was subject to a worldwide freezing order. Various provisions of the order were challenged in the Chancery Division: see Cadogan Petroleum Plc v Tolley [2011] EWHC 2286 (Ch).

 

Commercial dispute resolution

Anton is recognised as a Leading Junior in this field by Chambers & Partners, and is named in Who’s Who Legal: Litigation – Future Leaders 2018. He is frequently instructed in heavyweight commercial litigation, typically high-value cases with a strong international element.

Anton has acted (with Joe Smouha QC and Alex Bailin QC) in the high-profile dispute between Robert Tchenguiz and the SFO. The damages claim in trespass and false imprisonment was for lost business following a dawn raid on the homes and business premises of the property entrepreneurs, Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz. Several interim applications are reported: see, for example, Robert Tchenguiz v SFO [2013] EWHC 1578, [2014] EWHC 1103, and [2014] EWHC 1315.

Anton’s other notable cases include:

Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Sergiy Taruta & others. Acting (with David Foxton QC and Nathan Pillow QC) for a Ukrainian politician and businessman in a US$2bn+ dispute concerning a Ukrainian metals business and other assets. Trial in the Commercial Court is listed for 8 weeks in 2019.

National Bank Trust v Yurov & others. Acting (with Nathan Pillow QC) for a major Russian bank in a claim for more than US$800 million against former directors and shareholders. Successfully resisted an application to discharge a worldwide freezing order in 2016. A 33-day trial in the Commercial Court concluded at the end of November 2018.

Svetly Gorod LLC v OJSC Trust Investment Bank. Jurisdiction challenge in the Commercial Court on behalf of a Russian bank in a claim for US$264 million brought by Moscow property investors.

FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino & others [2018] EWHC 1768 (Comm). Represented an investment management company owned by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in a claim against its former CEO and his associate.

Otkritie Capital International Ltd v Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 274. Acted (with Nathan Pillow QC) for a Russian bank in successfully resisting an application to strike out a vicarious liability claim for more than US$100 million made against the former employer of a dishonest co-conspirator. The Court of Appeal’s decision is a significant authority on the application of the guidelines laid down in Aldi Stores v WSP Group plc [2008] 1 WLR 748.

PAO Tatneft v Ukraine [2018] EWHC 1797 (Comm). Acting (with Philip Edey QC) for Ukraine in a jurisdiction challenge on state immunity grounds in the Commercial Court. The proceedings relate to the enforcement of a US$112 million arbitral award for breach of the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Samar Telecommunications Ltd v Tele Invest Ltd. Acting (with Vernon Flynn QC) in proceedings brought by the billionaire Wafic Said in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. The claim related to shares in a Syrian telecoms business.

Telenor East Holdings II AS v Altimo Holdings & Investments Ltd [2011] EWHC 735 (Comm). Acted (with Huw Davies QC) in an application for an interim injunction to restrain a corporate acquisition worth in excess of US$6 billion.

Avrora Fine Arts Investment Ltd v Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd [2012] EWHC 2198 (Ch). Representing the auction house in a 4-week Chancery Division trial about an oil painting sold as the work of Kustodiev, a Russian artist of the early 20th century.

Cadogan Petroleum Plc v Tolley [2011] EWHC 2286 (Ch). Led by Richard Millett QC in litigation between an oil & gas plc and one of its former directors.

Anton also regularly acts as sole counsel. Notable instructions include:

Robert Tchenguiz v SFO. In the course of the proceedings, Anton appeared (on his own) against a QC and two juniors from One Essex Court in a heavily contested disclosure application in the Commercial Court.

Zimareva-Locke v Cetin. Appeared in the Chancery Division (against a QC) on a return date for an interim injunction sought by a solicitor against one of her colleagues.

Eilon & Associates Ltd v EasyGroup IP Licensing Ltd [2011] EWHC 4094 (QB). Acted in a dispute between a corporate finance consultancy and the holder of the ‘easy’ brand.

Advised a BVI company on the causes of action available against a former director, including breach of employment contract, breach of confidence and various economic torts.

Advised a Hong Kong company on the merits of a claim relating to online processing of credit card payments.

Conflict of laws & private international law

Many of Anton’s cases involve issues of private international law. He has substantial experience of challenges to the English Court’s jurisdiction (on various grounds, including state immunity), as well as choice of law and the application of foreign law. For a recent example, see FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino & others [2018] EWHC 1768 (Comm) – a case involving issues of choice of law (and Swiss law) in respect of claims against a Swiss-domiciled defendant who had procured bribes to be paid to a director of an English company.

Anton has acted (as sole counsel) in an application for a freezing order against Ukrainian and Bermudan parties, which raised intricate points on service out of the jurisdiction in the context of dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. He has also advised a BVI company doing business in Cambodia on the remedies available in an English court against a former director (a British national resident in Australia).

Anton has written an article on a decision of the Court of Appeal interpreting Article 22(2) of the Judgments Regulation: see “Determining Domicile” in the International Trade and Transport Law Newsletter (January 2010, p 6). He has also contributed to an internal guide on jurisdiction for a law firm specialising in reinsurance disputes.

Energy & natural resources

Anton is recognised as a Leading Junior in this field by Legal 500, where he is described as an “excellent advocate and tactician”.

Anton has acted (with Graham Dunning QC) in a long-running dispute between an oil & gas consortium based in the UAE and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. The case related to two gas fields in Iraq, and was described in Global Arbitration Review as “one of the highest-value gas disputes in the Middle East, with claims valued at over US$39 billion”. A decision in connected Commercial Court proceedings is reported at [2016] 4 WLR 2.

Anton is currently instructed (with Philip Edey QC) by the State of Ukraine in enforcement proceedings brought by Tatneft, one of Russia’s largest oil producing companies, arising out of an arbitration concerning the ownership and operation of the Kremenchug oil refinery in Ukraine: PAO Tatneft v Ukraine [2018] EWHC 1707 (Comm).

Other instructions include:

acting (with Graham Dunning QC) in a dispute between publicly listed international oil companies relating to a major offshore development project;

acting (with Geraldine Andrews QC) in a dispute relating to the supply of alumina;

acting (with Graham Dunning QC) in a US$300+ million dispute relating to an interest in uranium mines; and

advising a mining company in proceedings connected with its operations in Central Asia.

 

Insurance & reinsurance

Anton has experience of arbitrations under ‘Bermuda form’ policies of insurance, including a case concerned with artificial heart implants, and proceedings under a pharmaceutical risk policy (English seat; New York law).

Anton’s instructions include advising on the validity of (and coverage under) professional indemnity, D&O and crime policies of insurance relating to losses caused by employee dishonesty.

 

Career

2009 – 2010 Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers

2008 Call, Gray’s Inn

2008 – 2009 Research assistant, Law Commission

2007 – 2008 Tutor in EC Law, St John’s College and Balliol College, Oxford Tutor in Jurisprudence, Wadham College, Oxford

2006 – 2007 Research assistant for Professor Simon Whittaker, St John’s College, Oxford

Education

2013 Keble College Advanced International Advocacy Course

2007 – 2008 BVC (Very competent)

2006 – 2007 BCL, Distinction (Conflict of Laws, Restitution, Jurisprudence and Political Theory) St John’s College, Oxford

2003 – 2006 BA (First Class Hons) (Law) St John’s College, Oxford

Awards

2009 Lee Essay Prize (Gray’s Inn)

2008 Phoenicia Scholarship (Bar European Group)

2007 Herbert Hart Prize (for best performance in Jurisprudence and Political Theory)

2006 Lord Justice Holker Award (Gray’s Inn)

2004 Casberd Scholarship (for a distinction in Law Moderations