Privy Council rejects Altimo’s appeal

14 March, 2011

Graham Dunning QC of Essex Court Chambers, leading a team including Nick Harrison of Serle Court, Carol Welu of Squire Sanders & Dempsey, London, and Chris Cope of Appleby, Isle of Man, scored a notable victory before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council last week.

The Judicial Committee accepted their arguments and decided to advise that appeals on jurisdiction by Altimo Holdings and Investments Ltd, OOO Altimo and various others should be dismissed.

As a result, claims by Isle of Man companies ultimately part owned by Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, the Russian mobile telecom operator, in respect of the alleged misappropriation of the Kyrgyz company, BITEL, and its assets will now proceed in the Isle of Man Courts.

The speech of Lord Collins touches on a number of important jurisdictional topics, including the correct test to be applied when a foreign legal system is alleged to be corrupt and the ‘justiciability’ of that issue under English and Manx law, as well as the circumstances in which an English or Manx Court will decline to recognise an improperly obtained foreign judgment. Lord Collins described a key decision of the Kyrgyz Supreme Court as “bizarre”.

Download the judgment