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Supreme Court gives green light to damages claims against those helping to hide frozen assets

The recent decision in JSC BTA Bank v Khrapunov [2018] UKSC 19 confirms the power and range of the worldwide freezing order (“WFO”). The WFO claimant need not stop at obtaining quasi-criminal sanctions against those who breach or assist in the breach of a WFO. The WFO claimant can also claim damages for conspiracy against any person who assists the WFO defendant in hiding his assets. The claimant thus gains a new target to recover money using a substantive English law tort claim.
The Supreme Court also left open the door for claims against contemnors themselves for damages.

The jurisdictional aspect of the decision is also of general importance. It is now clear that the English court will have jurisdiction over the tort if the conspiracy is hatched in England (which may be likely if the WFO defendant’s passport has also been confiscated).

Attached is the full 20 Essex Street Bulletin.

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JSC BTA v Khrapunov - March 2018.pdf692.89 KB