26th Apr 2012 | Articles

Rupert Butler looks at International Fraud Litigation: Trial process before trial, with particular reference to the JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov & others litigation’ in the following aricle.


My title is pre-trial process in fraud litigation with a particular look at,what I shall refer to loosely as,the “Kazakh bank litigation”, by which I mean to encompass all 9 actions brought by the JSC BTA Bank, or Receivers appointed by it, against its former chairman, Mr. Mukhtar Ablyazov, and at least 17 other people,or bodies, said to be associated with him.

These proceedings, brought by the newly invested “JSC BTA Bank”of Kazakhstan,are said to be the biggest collective fraud action ever to be tried in the UKand is currently valued at $4.5billion, but may yet rise.

I have not been involved in the Kazakh bank litigation-one of the few members of the Bar not to be instructedso far -our Chairman may assist me if he feels able to comment,because he is instructed.

The publicityaround the litigation makes it an example we can all followand it is relevant to anyone practicingin fraud litigation because it is extreme:

  • firstly, for the sums involved;
  • the range of parties;
  • the range of tactics being deployed to achieve each side’s ends; and,
  • the zeal and determination of the Claimantto succeed;
  • the quantity of hearings and appeals;
  • the perceived capacity of the Claimant to achieve its purpose -crudely put, it is presumed that the Kazakh bank can afford the feesof going to trial and even losing;

In the manner of its prosecution the case is in the vanguard pushing back the boundaries;and might mark a watershed as to how fraud cases are litigated and may influence the extent to which people come to England to do their business –justice is being marketed as better in London.

Also the role of the Central London property market as a safe haven has never been greater and with so much money pouring into the Capital from Greece, Syria, Spain etc….if any of it has been obtained fraudulently, so the courts here are going to be used to assist in its recovery.

In the Kazakh bank litigation there have been over 100 hearings so far, but no trials, so it is not possible to cover all of the interesting things that have been happening, but I have taken a few examples and will look and see what we can learn from them.

Continue reading this article here

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