Andrey Mikonin comments on the claim by Vitaly Arkhangelsky against Bank Saint-Petersburg
A longstanding legal dispute the disfavored businessman Vitaly Arkhangelsky and Bank Saint Petersburg is approaching the final. In London there are plans to call senior officials to testify as witnesses, including the head of the Council of the Federation Valentina Matviyenko. The testimonies of the Russians may tip the scale in favor of the one of the parties to the conflict. The amount of all claims constitutes 500 million euros, that Vitaly Arkhangelsky is asking as a compensation for his lost business. In St. Petersburg he developed businesses related to port services, construction and insurance, but as he says himself, he became an easy victim for Bank Saint Petersburg.
The final hearing of the case will be held in High Court of London in June 2014, and this hearing may put an end in the five year proceedings. In general it resembles very much the dispute between Russian oligarchs Berezovsky and Abramovich, says the partner and head of litigation department at S&K Vertical Andrey Mikonin. Boris Berezovsky, the expert recalls, asked the court to vindicate the assets that he was deprived of, but as a result he did not manage to prove that the assets belonged to him. Andrey Mikonin notes that if the English justice resolves the case in favor of Vitaly Arkhangelsky, this will hardly become the reason to close the criminal cases at the businessman’s homeland.
"There are serious problems with execution of English judgments in the Russian territory, inasmuch as the principle of mutuality is not really followed. Although theoretically it is possible that the judgment will be enforceable against the bank’s assets in European jurisdictions, yet in reality, shall the process identify any issues as to bad faith of the defendant, the case will be ended by friendly settlement, express or implied,” – opines the expert.
If the English court does not grant the claim by Vitaly Arkhangelsky, the latter might not challenge this decision due to the financial issues, says Andrey Mikonin.
"The system of English courts is a multilevel one and it presupposes appeals. Another thing is whether the plaintiff has enough money to sponsor a foreign legal system, including the advocates there, if his or her claims are unsubstantiated and filed only as a tactical step. The challenging does not usually go far in such cases” – concludes the specialist.