BTA Bank v Mukhtar Ablyazov heads to the Supreme Court

The multi-billion pound case vigorously pursued against Addleshaw Goddard client Mukhtar Ablyazov by Kazakhstan’s JSC BTA Bank is set to take a new turn when it reaches the Supreme Court later this year.

Three Supreme Court justices, Lords Mance, Sumption and Hughes, have granted an appeal to Hogan Lovells’ client BTA Bank, which requests that the final court examines whether Ablyazov has breached freezing orders imposed against him back in 2009.

It will be the first time that the final court in England and Wales has delved into this tricky area of law.

Ablyazov, who was extradited to Russia by France in January and has been jailed in his absence for contempt in London, is accused of breaking terms of the order to pay his legal and living expenses. Addleshaws, which had the case dismissed at the High Court and Court of Appeal, counters that to uphold the claim would mean it was impossible for its client to fight politically motivated claims.

The stakes are high not just for Ablyazov and his legal team, but also for others that find themselves on the wrong end of a freezing order.

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