$1.5bn oligarch case settles on eve of High Court battle

A case stemming from the dispute between Russian oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich over a $1.5bn stake in mining company Metalloinvest has settled on the eve of battle.

The claims were brought by the family of the late Georgian businessman Arkady ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili against Russian oligarch Vasily Anisimov. Four silks were due to appear in the month-long hearing, which was scheduled to begin on Monday 17 March (6 January 2014), with Signature Litigation partner Graham Huntley acting for the claimants and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partners Ian Terry and Matthew Bruce for Anisimov.

Patarkatsishvili’s wife, Inna Gudavadze, and her two daughters were claiming a part-entitlement to the 20 per cent share formerly held by Anisimov in mining company Metalloinvest. They alleged that the two businessmen agreed that Anisimov would invest in Metalloinvest’s forerunner, Mikhailovsky, a portion of the proceeds he received from the sale of a stake in aluminium giant Rusal in 2004.

Patarkatsishvili’s estate previously settled a dispute with Berezovsky (13 September 2012), prior to the Russian’s death a year ago.

Anisimov was joined as a defendant to the mammoth $5bn fight between Berezovsky and Abramovich, which Berezovsky lost in 2012 (30 August 2012). That case also concerned a Rusal deal.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Gudavadze’s general counsel Ben Marson said: “I am very pleased to confirm that a settlement has been reached between my clients and Mr Anisimov which conclusively brings to an end the long-running dispute due to commence next Monday. My clients are now looking forward to focusing on their business interests and charitable projects.”

Huntley added that the family was pleased to “put the matter behind them” and said no further comment would be made.

Bruce confirmed the settlement, adding that Anisimov’s family were pleased the case had settled.

Maitland Chambers’ Paul Girolami QC and Serle Court’s Jonathan Adkin QC had been due to lead New Square Chambers’ Watson Pringle and Fountain Court’s Paul Casey in the High Court next week. 

Freshfields had drafted in 3 Verulam Buildings’ Ali Malek QC and Sonia Tolaney QC, leading Anne Jeavons and Sandy Phipps of the same set, for Anisimov’s defence.