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Eterna Law

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Almaty, Kiev, Moscow

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AstapovLawyers protects the interests of Nutritek International Inc. before High Court of Justice

January 2012

AstapovLawyers has successfully participated in the representation of Nutritek International Inc., a leading baby food production company in Russia, before the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division (United Kingdom).

The dispute arose as an aftermath of a major 2007 M&A transaction, whereby the Nutritek’s dairy production assets were sold to the LLC Rossagroprom. As the buyer was subsequently unable to repay a significant loan to the VTB Bank, the latter took over the dairy production facilities at issue and commenced litigation in the HCJ against the Nutritek and other persons, alleging civil fraud and misrepresentation on the pretext that the sold assets were overpriced in 2007 and claiming some $ 200 mln. in damages.

Acting as a local counsel, AstapovLawyers developed position on the Russian law for Nutritek’s representatives Weil, Gotshal & Manges proving that the natural forum for these claims was Russia. Having carefully examined the evidence before him and widely cited the evidence of the expert carefully selected by AstapovLawyers, Mr Justice Arnold decided that the previous case-law of the English courts on the matter was wrongly decided and found for Nutritek, indicating that the Russian and not English courts were natural and appropriate forum for VTB’s claims. This is the decision of the first instance Court, which is subject to appeal on a point of law.

Mr Andrey Astapov, the Managing Partner of AstapovLawyers, commented: “This is one of those cases, establishing AstapovLawyers as one of the major players in the CIS international dispute resolution market. Based on the position on the Russian law developed by our team, an English judge, dispite the previous distrust of the Albion courts the Russian judicial system, as an appropriate and just forum. I congratulate our international dispute resolution team, who worked very hard on this case, with achieving this result”.

The case was handled by: Andrey Astapov (Managing Partner), Oleh Beketov (Counsel) and Ivan Lishchyna (Senior Associate).


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