Court hands down judgment in Russian bank fraud dispute

27 January, 2020

On 23 January, Mr Justice Bryan handed down judgment in National Bank Trust v Yurov & others [2020] EWHC 100 (Comm) following a 9-week trial in October/November 2018 in which members of Essex Court Chambers acted on both sides. The case had previously featured as one of the Lawyer Magazine’s Top 20 Cases of the Year and was one of the most substantial Commercial Court trials to take place in 2018.

The Bank brought claims against its former majority shareholders and board directors for breach of their directors’ duties, claiming damages in excess of US$850 million in respect of a number of separate loan transactions which the Bank maintained were related-party transactions.  The Court considered many disputed points of Russian law including the ability of an employer to bring civil proceedings against employed directors, along with principles relating to limitation of liability and time-bar (see paragraphs 929-1363 of the judgment).

The Bank was represented by Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies and Anton Dudnikov, who were instructed by Neil Dooley at Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  They were also assisted by Catherine Jung and Luke Tattersall.  The First and Fourth Defendants were represented by Paul Stanley QC, along with Tom Poole (3 Hare Court) and Alexander Halban (now at Littleton Chambers), instructed by Smeetesh Kakkad of Gresham Legal. The Third and Sixth Defendants were represented by James Willan, instructed by Ben Davies at Byrne & Partners.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.