Russian tycoon’s ‘anti-anti-suit injunction’ succeeds as Transneft to face $14bn English claim – City AM

The English High Court has ordered Russian state-owned oil pipeline company Transneft to adjourn its legal proceedings in a Moscow court.

The oil company is facing a $14bn lawsuit in London after Russian tycoon Ziyavudin Magomedov launched the case last year against the oil company, DP World and Russian state-owned agencies.

Magomedov launched the legal action after his holdings in valuable port operators were seized as part of what he claims is a state-backed conspiracy.

He had a significant stake in one of Russia’s largest ports Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) as well a stake in a Russian logistics giant FESCO Transport Group.

He is currently in prison after he was arrested in Russia in 2018 and in 2022, and eventually sentenced to 19 years in prison on embezzlement charges and had numerous assets frozen.

Earlier this month, Transneft asked a Moscow court to prohibit Magomedov from continuing the proceedings in England.

Following a hearing in the English High court last week,Magomedov was granted an order which instructed Transneft to adjourn its Russian claim.

According to documents seen by City A.M., the penal notice of this order stated if Transneft or any of its directors and officers disobey this order, they may be held to be in contempt of court and may be imprisoned, fined, or have its assets seized.

There will be a further hearing in respect of this order on 1 March 2024.

Mr Justice Foxton explained that the application was an “anti-anti-suit injunction”, which is intended to prevent the defendants from pursuing anti-suit injunctive relief which they seek in Moscow.

He stated that the issue of anti-anti-suit relief “is a relatively rare phenomenon in English litigation, although becoming progressively less so.”

This ruling comes after Transneft had its ability to move funds restricted last December. The injunction obliges Transneft to inform Magomedov’s lawyers, Seladore Legal, in advance of any significant transactions it wishes to make and applies to Transneft for the foreseeable future, until the dispute between the parties is resolved.

Commenting on the case, his lawyer Simon Bushell, senior partner at Seladore Legal said: “Magomedov faces increasingly deteriorating conditions having recently been transferred to a remote penal colony in Kirov on the notorious Stolypin train, described by Amnesty as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’.”

“As he gradually exhausts his avenues of appeal in Russia, Magomedov’s only hope of justice is the continued pursuit of his UK High Court claims. His family and all those seeking to support him are obviously fearful for his health and well-being and concerned that he will be deprived entirely of his ability to liaise properly with his legal team.”

“His Russian lawyers in particular feel intimidated by the recent steps taken to restrain Magomedov from pursuing his legal claims in England. He is now entirely reliant on the safeguards of the international community to ensure that he is not silenced and that he does not suffer the same fate as Alexei Navalny,” he added.

This is an article from City AM.