Argument has now closed in a Supreme Court appeal of great importance for international fraud litigation. The case concerns a jurisdiction dispute in a $350 million fraud claim brought by the subsidiary of Russia’s second largest bank (VTB Capital Plc) against Russian entrepreneur Mr Konstantin Malofeev. The issues before the Supreme Court were:
(1) Whether VTB could “pierce the corporate veil” of a company allegedly controlled by Mr Malofeev so as to hold him liable under a contract formed between that company and VTB.
(2) Whether, as a matter of English private international law, the jurisdiction within which a tort is allegedly committed is presumptively the proper forum for the determination of that tort claim.
(3) Whether a $200 million worldwide freezing order should be continued by the Supreme Court in circumstances in which findings of deliberate material non-disclosure had been made by the judge at first instance.
Stephen Rubin QC and James McClelland (instructed by Justin Michaelson of SJ Berwin LLP) appeared for Mr Malofeev, together with Mark Hapgood QC.
Mark Howard QC, Paul McGrath QC, Iain Pester and Tony Singla appeared for VTB (instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP).
Michael Lazarus and Christopher Burdin appeared for the Second Defendant.
Judgment has been reserved.