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"Sovereign debt enforcement in English Courts: Ukraine and Russia meet in the Court of Appeal in USD 3 bn Eurobonds dispute" by Monica Feria-Tinta and Alistair Wooder

In this 20 Essex Street Bulletin Monica Feria-Tinta and Alistair Wooder  examine  Blair J’s decision in Law Debenture Trust Corp plc v Ukraine [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm), in which Russia was granted summary judgment in a claim for USD 3bn due under Eurobonds issued by Ukraine, to be heard in the coming months by the Court of Appeal. The case revolves around sovereign bonds issued by Ukraine to Russia, on payment of which Ukraine subsequently defaulted.However, what would have otherwise been a straightforward banking case before an English court, became a case in which public international law arguments took centre stage, necessitating a judgment of almost one hundred pages.   

The authors argue that this case will test the boundaries of the doctrine of non-justiciability in English Courts in claims relating to foreign affairs of two sovereign States. The Judge declined to stay the proceedings, but Monica Feria-Tinta and Alistair Wooder submit that there may, in fact, have been a third way. They further observe that this case neatly exemplifies the complexity and diversity of the matters litigated in the English courts, which, more and more often include public international law arguments and foreign states litigating as private persons. 

The briefing can be found below.

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