Bogolyubova v Bogolyubov & Joint Stock Company Commercial Bank "Privatbank" [2022] EWFC 19924 June 2022

Published: 12/07/2023 09:12

Mr Justice Peel. Application by the Bank (i) to intervene in financial remedy proceedings, (ii) to stay those proceedings and for the court not to approve a financial consent order pending the outcome of a commercial dispute between the Bank, the husband (‘H’) and others in the Chancery Division and (iii) for specific disclosure.

Parties reached a separation agreement in February 2017. The Bank issued proceedings against H and others in December 2017 seeking total $4.2bn, alleging fraud and misappropriation. H had been a shareholder and officer of the Bank until it became insolvent. The Bank had a worldwide freezing order against H.

Peel J held that the consent order should not be made/approved. His reasons are set out in paragraphs 24–41 and summarised as follows:

  1. He could not be satisfied that the terms of the consent order were fair in all the circumstances per his independent duty under s 25 MCA 1973.
  2. Computation could not be completed until the extent of H’s potentially massive liability to the Bank is determined. H’s liability to the Bank could exceed the value of all his assets. It would be ‘wrong to approve an order which might subsequently be incapable of compliance, and potentially unfair to either or both parties’ (paragraph 30).
  3. The parties did not need a financial consent order to apply to vary or lift the freezing order (paragraph 35).
  4. Lack of protection of the wife’s claims without a consent order if H died was not a good enough reason to make the consent order. H could execute a will making provision for her (paragraph 39).

However, Peel J refused to stay the financial remedy proceedings because 'there may be matters which need to be progressed from time to time pending the outcome of the PrivatBank litigation” (paragraph 41)

Peel J permitted the Bank to intervene as the test in FPR 9.26(B)(1)(b) was clearly met, but the Bank was only joined for the purposes of this order (paragraph 42).

Peel J refused specific disclosure (paragraph 43).

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