With the news that the £1bn court battle between Rusal chief executive Oleg Deripaska and businessman Michael Cherney has been settled ahead of the resumption of the case at the Rolls Building next week, the Russian invasion of the London legal world seems to be abating.
An official statement released by Deripaska’s spokesperson yesterday afternoon simply stated: “Mr Deripaska announces that Mr Cherney’s litigation in London against him has been terminated. Neither party will be making any further comment in relation to the litigation or matters raised therein.”
Cherney was due to give video evidence to the court as the case opened yesterday, but delays raised prospects of a settlement. Details of the deal are as yet unknown.
Cherney’s mammoth case against Deripaksa involving a host of top QCs was expected to last almost a year, bringing in 70 witnesses, some of whom had applied for anonymity orders to protect their identity from being revealed in the press.
The dispute is the culmination of years of battle between the feuding businessmen sparked by Russia’s so-called ‘aluminium wars’. Cherney claimed he is owed a share of Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer, alleging he was Deripaska’s partner in the 1990s. Deripaska denied the claim.
According to reports, the case hinged on two pieces of paper thought to contain a written agreement in which Deripaska is alleged to have agreed to keep Rusal shares in trust for Cherney.
The settlement comes just weeks after another Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, withdrew a raft of claims against the estate of his alleged former business partner Arkady ‘Padri ’ Patarkatsishvili.
That dispute, which was also linked to the ownership of Rusal, was settled after Mrs Justice Gloster threw out allegations made by him against Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.