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Eterna Law

SOPHIA BUSINESS CENTER, 6 RYLSKIY LANE, 01601 KYIV, UKRAINE
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Almaty, Kiev, Moscow

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AstapovLawyers Successfully Represents Delta Bank

September 2014

AstapovLawyers has successfully represented Delta Bank, one of the major Ukrainian banks, in a USD 71 million dispute against a Ukrainian tycoon, an owner of a significant agricultural group of companies in Ukraine.

AstapovLawyers has successfully represented Delta Bank, one of the major Ukrainian banks, in a USD 71 million dispute against a Ukrainian tycoon, an owner of a significant agricultural group of companies in Ukraine.

The dispute concerned a breach by a Ukrainian businessman of his contractual obligations under the umbrella contract concluded with Delta Bank. Not only the businesses, owned by the Respondent had failed to repay the loans issued pursuant to the said umbrella agreements, but the ensuing investigation established that the Respondent had siphoned the Bank's money from his companies using various, sometimes rather creative schemes.

Following the arbitration agreement embedded in the contract, the proceeding were initiated under the Rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the seat of arbitration in London, with English law applicable to the substance of the dispute.

Moreover, in order to prevent the dissemination of the assets by the Respondent simultaneously with the filing of the Request for Arbitration, the Bank, advised by AstapovLawyers, applied to the English High Court of Justice seeking "Mareva injunction" ("Worldwide Freezing Order"), which was granted in May 2012, restraining the Respondent from removing any of his assets up to the value of USD 51 million.

Throughout the subsequent arbitration proceedings before a single-arbitrator tribunal the Bank was represented by AstapovLawyers, which prepared the relevant submissions, advised the client on the collection of the evidence, including the witness statements, organized the hearing and presented the Bank's position in the oral statements during the hearing, which took place in Kyiv in January 2013.

In its award, issued in September 2013, the LCIA Tribunal allowed the Bank's claim in full and awarded it approx. USD 71 million. Thereafter successfully AstapovLawyers represented the Bank in the proceedings before the Rivne City and Regional Appellate courts in the proceedings regarding recognition and enforcement of the LCIA award. The decision of Rivne city court, granting the Banks application and ordering the compulsory enforcement of the award came into force in June 2014.

"For us, this case was important for a number of reasons. First, we were honored to advise Delta Bank in such complex case, involving, inter alia, English substantive law. Second, this case greatly advanced our experience and knowhow in representation the Clients in foreign jurisdictions. Third, in successfully representing a client before LCIA tribunal, AstapovLawyers lawyers gained unique for the Ukrainian legal market experience. I am very proud of my team!" said Andrey Astapov, Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Practice.

"It was a unique experience for us in seeking of Worldwide Freezing Order from English court. On this case, we have observed strength of WFO as very effective procedural tool against debtor which is available in English jurisdiction. We will continue using this instrument to defend our clients rights if we happen to arbitrate or litigate in England", said Oleh Beketov, Partner and Head of International Litigation Department.

The case was handled by Andrey Astapov, Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Practice,Oleh Beketov, Partner and Head of International Litigation Department, Ivan Lishchyna, Counsel, Olena Yakovenko, Associate, Igor Mulyarchuk, Associate and Alexander Lugovskyi, Junior Associate.

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