Court of Appeal Rules in Favour of Yelena Baturina in Forum Dispute: Claim Against Alexander Chistyakov to Continue

The judges ruled to set aside the order staying the action and return the case to the Commercial Court. Ms. Baturina is seeking damages for more than 100 million euro in a dispute over real estate projects in Morocco.

The Judgment was expected to be issued in the autumn, but was published only two weeks after the hearing in the Court of Appeal. The appeal followed proceedings last year when the High Court in London ruled it was more appropriate for the case to be dealt with by a Russian court.

Representatives for Ms. Baturina welcomed the court’s decision to hear the case in England. Yelena Baturina’s spokesman Gennady Terebkov said: “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal in London supports our view we have been substantiating all this time that the case should be heard in an English Court. This ruling gives us access to a just court and decisions, and we intend to pursue the claim against Chistyakov for 100 million euros in damages for deceit and breach of contract.”

As reported by the Daily Mail, in July, Barbara Dohmann QC, for Ms Baturina, told the Court of Appeal: “It is Ms Baturina’s case that she trusted Mr Chistyakov and that considerable sums went out… she invested nearly 100 million euros in the projects through funds advanced by a company of which she was then the sole owner.

“Ms Baturina’s claim is that, in breach of the principal agreement, the bulk of the funds which she had provided were not invested in the projects, but were wrongfully dissipated by Mr Chistyakov through a series of international companies.”

In 2013 Ms. Baturina, a businesswoman and philanthropist, filed the claim at the High Court in London, claiming that Alexander Chistyakov used fraudulent representations to induce her to become a co-investor of a commercial and residential property development project in Morocco. In 2007, Ms. Baturina signed an agreement with Alexander Chistyakov and arranged for her company to provide funding for real estate projects in Morocco.  Baturina contends that Chistyakov accepted all the obligations for the project implementation, but failed to fulfill any of them.

Ms. Baturina has already been successful in a related legal action against Chistyakov’s company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In April this year the BVI High Court ruled in favour of Ms Baturina, ordering Chistyakov’s company Sylmord Trade Inc to repay loans of €4.5 million and appointing liquidators to the company. The English proceedings and the BVI proceedings are closely related as they share the same factual background.

The English case will return to the Commercial Court on a date to be decided.