In November 2016, Trafalgar Developments Limited, together with three other offshore trustees*, sued Uralchem JSC and other defendants in the High Court of Ireland (record No. 9981P/2016). What is claimed, inter alia, is that the defendants are liable in tort for an alleged conspiracy aimed at injuring the plaintiffs by actions taken to divest them of their shares or benefits in the capital of Togliattiazot PJSC and/or cause loss to the value of their shares. One of those actions is claimed to be the initiation and investigation of a criminal case in Russia (1-53/2018), which is in the process of being tried by the Komsomolsky District Court of Togliatti and is currently pending sentence.
The plaintiffs in the Irish proceedings hold approximately 70% shares of Togliattiazot PJSC as trustees, yet they decline to disclose to the Irish court on whose behalf the action is brought and who the ultimate beneficiary of the said shares is. Neither is the amount of claim defined in the plaintiffs’ statement.
Uralchem rejects the claims brought by the plaintiffs and believes that the Irish court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate on them. In June 2018, the Uralchem defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the Irish court. This matter is currently being examined by the High Court and is still pending judgment.
On 27.06.2019, the Irish High Court stroke out the interlocutory application of the offshore plaintiffs whereby they sought orders to prevent Uralchem JSC from pursuing its civil action in the Russian criminal case No. 1-53/2018 under article 159(4) of the Russian Federation Criminal Code (very large scale fraud committed in conspiracy by an organized group) as investigated against former management of Togliattiazot and other participants.
Since the Irish court is yet to decide on its own jurisdiction over this dispute, Uralchem proposed an undertaking to refrain, should a judgment on the civil action brought by Uralchem in criminal case No. 1-53/2018 be granted in Uralchem’s favor, from enforcing the said judgment by foreclosure of the assets held by the offshore trustees (plaintiffs) until the resolution of the dispute by the Irish court. Uralchem is entitled to unilaterally withdraw its undertaking, in which case the trustees would be allowed to resume their application. Uralchem remains entitled to pursue its interests in the criminal case and the civil action in Russia, which are pending resolution in the nearest future.
Dimitry Tatyanin, Uralchem’s Deputy Director General – Director for Legal Matters: “Uralchem considers the steps taken to protect its rights as appropriate and lawful. Uralchem is resolved to fight any attempts made by the plaintiffs/trustees to interfere with Uralchem’s actions aimed at restoring its legitimate interests in Russian courts. This dispute is most connected to Russia and is supposed to be tried by Russian courts.”
* Instantania Holdings Limited, Kamara Limited, Bairiki Incorporated