Return of the oligarchs

Like Episode VII of sci-fi franchise Star Wars, the oligarch battles have returned. In this show, a heavyweight roster of lawyers replaces R2-D2, Jar Jar Binks, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt, none of whom would have been particularly useful in planet Earth’s High Court.

 In what could become a re-run of the mammoth Berezovsky v Abramovich legal battle, the latest bust up between billionaire oligarchs pitches Ukranian industrialist Victor Pinchuk against rivals Gennady Bogoliubov and Igor Kolomoisky. The stellar cast also includes Skadden, Freshfields and White & Case along with several stars of the bar.

Sadly this case is unlikely to feature Princess Leia in a space bikini, but it should underline how oligarch’s have made London’s courts their new home. Indeed, over the past five years London has firmly become the jurisdiction of choice for wealthy overseas litigants, creating a fresh batch of millionaires at the bar.

If you can’t wait to see the outcome of Episode VII, July is sure to be a bumper month for the courts with judges handing down decisions before dashing off on their August break, so check out our selection of the bust-ups to watch.

Also check out the annual Global Litigation Top 50 to see where your firm figures in the oligarch stakes.

Also on

  • Olswang has bolstered its commercial litigation group with the hire of partner Bernard O’Sullivan, who will join the firm from Byrne and Partners in November
  • Pinsent Masons’ former dispute resolution and litigation head Nigel Kissack has joined South African legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Exigent as global strategy consultant
  • A&L Goodbody has added to its presence in the US with the launch of a San Francisco office