Stockholm Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Russia on the Claim of Yukos


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

30th January, 2016


The court of appeal of Stockholm admitted that the Stockholm arbitration court, which in 2012 ruled in favor of the four Spanish stock companies, holders of American Depositary receipts for shares in Yukos, in a dispute with Russia, did not adequately ensure competence. Now, the Spanish stock companies are required to compensate the Russian court costs and to pay the plaintiff $ 3 million. They can appeal against this decision until 15 February 2016, RIA Novosti reported.

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The Spanish company insisted that their receipts can be considered as the fact of ownership of Yukos shares and, consequently, their investments were expropriated in violation of the 45th article of the European energy Charter.

The court of appeal, in ruling, drew attention to the fact that the receipts for the possession of the shares were acquired from a third organization from New York. The purchase receipts did not lead to any legal or binding relationship between stock companies and Yukos. Thus, the Spanish company had not made any investment in the territory of Russia, reports RIA Novosti.

The Yukos Affair

Before the bankruptcy of Yukos, more than 50% of its shares were controlled by the Gibraltar company Group Menatep Limited through a chain of subsidiary companies. The owner of 70% of the shares of GML was the founder of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who, after his arrest in 2003, handed his stake in GML to Leonid Nevzlin. In addition to Nevzlin, GML was controlled by Platon Lebedev, Mikhail Brudno, Vladimir Dubov and Vasily Shakhnovsky.

Due to the bankruptcy of Yukos oil company, assets were sold to repay the debt, many of them were bought by “Rosneft” at the auction. The claim of GML was filed in the Hague in 2007. Former shareholders claim that the Russian government expropriated Yukos assets, and they require damages under the 45th article of the European energy Charter, which protects investors from expropriation. Russia signed the Charter in 1994, but has not ratified it.

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