The Court of Appeal has given judgment confirming that the English court has jurisdiction to hear PrivatBank's fraud and conspiracy claims against its former shareholders, Igor Kolomoiskiy and Gennadiy Bogolyubov. The worldwide freezing order, which has been in place since December 2017, will continue until judgment after trial.
The Court of Appeal granted PrivatBank's appeal in full on all grounds in a judgment handed down in London this morning, overturning the prior judgment given by Mr Justice Fancourt in December 2018.
The three Lord Justices of Appeal concluded that "the Bank has a good arguable case to recover the full US$1.9 billion [US$3 billion including interest] given in the particulars of claim", and that the worldwide freezing order should remain in place.
The Court of Appeal ordered that "in circumstances where the fraud claim involves what the judge found was fraud and money laundering on an “epic scale”, the Bank's claim should proceed to trial in England.
The Court of Appeal also refused to give the defendants permission to appeal the decision, and has required the defendants to file defences to the claim by the end of November, meaning the Bank can move forward with the proceedings without further delay. A date for the trial will be set by the court in due course.
PrivatBank's CEO, Petr Krumphanzl, said "We are very pleased with the Court of Appeal's judgment, and are ready to move forward with the Bank's claims in England. This is an important step towards achieving justice for the Bank and the people of Ukraine."
Richard Lewis, partner at Hogan Lovells International LLP, said "We were confident that the Court of Appeal would reach the right and just conclusion, and are pleased that it has done so. As the Lord Justices observed, the defendants accepted that there is a good arguable case of fraud against them, and none of them has offered any explanation for what the court described as a "myriad of transactions having no evident commercial logic". It is increasingly difficult to see how the defendants will defend the Bank's claims at trial."