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A caution to judgment debtors and their advisers

Settling claims – do’s and don’ts | BDM Blog | BDM Law

In one of our previous posts, we had commented on the possibility of suing advisers if it can be proved that they have facilitated the asset-stripping with the intention of frustrating claims by creditors. There is now a new Supreme Court decision out which confirms that one can sue an adviser who conspires to help a judgment debtor move his assets out of the country – https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2017-0043-judgment.pdf.

In JSC BTA Bank v Khrapunov, the Bank brought a claim against Mr Khrapunov for being involved in an unlawful means conspiracy as he assisted his father in law, Mr Ablyazov, to dissipate and conceal Mr Ablyazov’s assets in contempt of court. The Court held that contempt of court constituted an “unlawful means” for the tort of conspiracy by unlawful means and as such Mr Khrapunov was liable. It was also ruled that the English court had jurisdiction, under article 5(3) of the Lugano Convention, as the conspiracy occurred in England even though the actions took place abroad. The Court focused on the fact that the agreement of the conspiracy was made in England which is the event that set the tort in motion.

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