Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

Court of Appeal upholds Mr Ablyazov's right to continue to fund defence of claims

In an important decision for Mukhtar Ablyazov and all individuals whose assets are subject to a freezing order, Lord Justices Beatson, Rimer and Floyd unanimously decided that a freezing order that prevents Ablyazov from disposing of, dealing with or otherwise diminishing the value of his assets other than in the ordinary and proper course of his business did not extend to preventing him from borrowing money to fund his legal expenses.

Ablyazov has, and continues to, fund his defence of the litigation brought against him by BTA Bank through loans provided by third parties. In an attempt to cut off Ablyazov’s funding of his defence, thereby potentially depriving him of the ability to continue to defend himself, the bank applied for a declaration that Ablyazov’s rights under the loans were assets for the purposes of the freezing order. The bank also applied in the alternative for Ablyazov to give disclosure of all of the drawings made under the loans. Unsurprisingly, the bank’s application, which would have resulted in the overturning of established case law that has stood unchallenged for more than 10 years, was dismissed by Mr Justice Christopher Clarke in its entirety at first instance…

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