Mr Abramovich has won the battle of the Oligarchs after one of
the most lengthy and expensive legal disputes London has seen in
recent years. Judgment was handed down by Mrs Justice Gloster in
the multi-billion dispute this morning.
Mr Berezovsky, now in exile in the UK, claimed that Mr
Abramovich had cheated him in a share deal and demanded over
Ł3billion in damages. He claimed that he and Abramovich were
partners in Sibneft, the oil company and Abramovich forced him to
sell his shares at an undervalue when he fell out of favour with
Abramovich strongly denied the allegation, claiming that he only
originally retained Berezovsky because of his top-level contacts in
the Kremlin at the time.
The biggest hurdle for Mr Berezovsky was to prove that the
original deal with Mr Abramovich was an oral agreement, not a
written one. Notwithstanding the eye-watering sums involved, such
'oral agreements' are a feature of these sorts of disputes
between Oligarchs and of disputes between Russian and CIS
The Withers Civil Fraud Group is currently advising on two major
multi-billion pound disputes emanating from the collapse of the
Soviet Union and the business opportunities which arose for some in
the 1990s. Both of those cases turn on key moments when oral
agreements were or were not made between the main protagonists and
without any witnesses present.
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