Russia’s Legal Bonanza in London

With no real functioning courts in Russia, apart for the celebrated practice of the show trial, the legal systems of London and Strasbourg find themselves choked with business disputes and human rights cases.  The Financial Times has a new piece about some of the biggest cases between the oligarchs, including Berezovsky vs. Abramovich and Cherney vs. Deripaska.

One senior western banker said disclosures in the Deripaska case – where legal arguments are taking place over whether it should be heard in London or Moscow – could be “extremely damaging”.

The banker said: “[It] does not encourage the world to invest in Russia. It also shows that Russia does not have the necessary legal system to sort all this out and people have to go to foreign courts.”

The two cases are separate but overlap intriguingly in that both involve disputes over the allocation of proceeds of investments in UC Rusal, the aluminium giant. Rusal was formed through a merger of Sibal, Mr Cherney and Mr Deripaska’s aluminium company, with the metals empire of Mr Abramovich and Mr Berezovsky.