A question of jurisdiction

Last May the chairman of Russia’s Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov berated the abuse of ‘forum shopping’ by litigants and advocated that “Russia should guarantee its citizens and entities protection from the unfair competition of foreign judicial systems”.

Yet today state-owned Russian bank VTB Capital lost in its attempt to have a conspiracy and fraud claim against Marshall Capital and Russian national Konstantin Malofeev heard by London’s High Court.

As is often the case in Supreme Court battles VTB shook up its legal team for the highest court, replacing PCB Litigation with Herbert Smith Freehills for the case.

Both sides brought out the big guns for the battle, with Brick Court once again picking up mandates for both claimants and defendants, reinforcing its position as one of the go-to sets for Russian litigants.

Moscow might want them back, but this case proves that London remains the forum of choice for Russia’s legal battlers.

Elsewhere in litigation:

  • Fried Frank partner Justin Michaelson says the VTB case will be one of the most significant for forum shoppers.
  • Guildhall Chambers pledges to stand by silk charged with conspiracy to defraud.
  • And, on the day that businessman Vincent Tchenguiz filed a £200m claim against the Serious Fraud Office his advocate, Debevoise & Plimpton’s Peter Goldsmith QC, is in the Court of Appeal fighting an appeal for Irish tycoon Patrick McKillen over London’s leading hotels.