"Unprecedented” unless orders made against Mr Ablyazov


5th March 2012

On 29 February 2012, Teare J gave judgment on the application of JSC BTA Bank for further relief flowing from the Court’s findings that Mr Ablayzov had acted in contempt of court. Pursuant to those findings, Mr Ablyazov was sentenced to three terms of 22 months’ imprisonment, such periods to run concurrently. The instant application was issued after Mr Ablyazov went “into hiding” having failed, contrary to a “clear and unequivocal confirmation … that he would attend the judgment”, to attend court on 16 February. The Bank therefore sought orders that Mr Ablyazov’s defences to its eight Commercial Court claims be struck out unless (a) Mr Ablyazov surrendered himself to the Tipstaff, and (b) Mr Ablyazov gave full and proper disclosure of his assets. The first aspect of the Bank’s application was described by Mr Ablyazov’s Counsel as “unprecedented”. The Court acceded to the Bank’s applications, though its orders will not come into effect pending any appeal made against its committal order. As with many aspects of the BTA litigation, the judgment has been highly publicised. The Financial Times, for instance, reported the decision under the heading “Judge ramps up pressure on Kazakh mogul”. BTA Bank was represented by New Square Chambers’ Stephen Smith QC and Tim Akkouh.


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