Cyprus: Enforcement Of Russia Judgments In Cyprus

In all cases, where Russian Banks have claims against Russian citizens, pursuant to loan agreements, or guarantees, the Russian Banks shall arrange, before the filing of any civil action in Russia, against the said individuals to assign in writing such claims to Cypriot companies (SPV's) in order to meet the requirements of the provisions of the Bilateral Treaty, between Cyprus and Russia, regulating the direct recognition and enforcement of Russian judgments in Cyprus. By doing so the holder of the Russian judgment, will be a judgment creditor, residing in Cyprus, and it will have the right, under the above Treaty, to file directly its application for recognition and enforcement before Cyprus Courts, and not through the competent Authorities stated in the Treaty (i.e. which mechanism causes delay, and serious problems, in obtaining by the judgment creditor, of freezing injunctions to secure the payments of such Russian judgments).

Why enforcement in Cyprus?

Due to the existence of a large number of Cyprus Companies, owned and controlled by Russian individuals (i.e. they are the ultimate beneficial owners of all their shares and assets) and due to the recognition under Cyprus law of the concept of the beneficial ownership and of the possibility of the equitable execution of Court judgments against assets legally held by third parties, but beneficially owned by the judgment debtors, Cyprus is one of the few jurisdictions where holders of Russian judgments may seek to enforce their judgments, with good chances of recoverability.

Interim Relief available

In the context of an application to recognize and enforce a Russian judgment ( i.e. a summary process, which is commenced by an application and supported by an affidavit attaching apostil true copy of the judgment and certified Greek translation of same), the judgment Creditor, may apply for the issue of the following interim relief, to secure the satisfaction of his Russian judgment.

  1. Freezing of assets held by or legally registered into the name of the judgment debtor;
  1. Freezing of assets held by, or legally registered into the name of third parties but beneficially owned by the judgment debtor (i.e. the so called Chambra injunctions);
  1. Appointment of an Equitable Interim Receiver to take control of the assets -(held by, or legally registered, into the name of the judgment debtor, or assets held by, or legally registered, into the name of a third party, but beneficially owned by the judgment debtor)- and to assist in the enforcement and execution of the Russian judgments.
  1. An order ordering the judgment debtor to make on oath a full disclosure of the amount, nature and place of his assets, and present all necessary documents, relating to the disclosure.
  1. An order of discovery in the form of Norwich Pharmacal, ordering a third party (i.e. Service provider, Bank etc) to disclose all documents and information, in their possession to assist the judgment creditor, to trace all the assets of the judgment debtor (i.e. shares in Cyprus or overseas companies, which are managed and controlled from Cyprus, Bank accounts etc).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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