Chichvarkin, who amassed his billion-pound fortune by building Russia’s largest mobile phone retailer Yevroset, left the country in January this year after falling out with the Kremlin. He emerged in London in June.
The businessman is accused of kidnapping an employee of his Evroset company and of blackmail.
The request for extradition was transmitted on 27 August by the Russian embassy in London.
The instruction came by personal recommendation as the firm had built up
a reputation for defending Russian billionaires wanted in their domestic country for breaking the law.
Since 2001 Russia has made 22 extradition requests to the Home Office, none of which have been successful. This was because the prosecution is deemed to be politically motivated. One partner who deals with similar cases said: “London’s filling up with people being sought by the Russian Federation.”
This contrasts deeply with the UK’s extradition agreement with the US. In November Brick Court Chambers trio Richard Gordon QC, Jonathan Sumption QC and Martin Chamberlain, instructed by White & Case partner Alistair Graham, will do battle with the US government over the extradition of UK businessman Ian Norris.
Norris is wanted by the US on charges of price-fixing and obstructing justice.
The US government has instructed 6 King’s Bench Walk’s David Perry QC to appeal an earlier decision to allow Norris to stay in the UK in the Supreme Court.