Akin Gump Achieves Litigation Success in Alleged Auction-Rigging Plot

(London) – Akin Gump has successfully defended Robert Foresman, vice chairman at UBS Investment Bank and co-defendant in Commercial Court litigation.

The case was brought by Yukos Finance and others against five individuals, including Robert Foresman, who were alleged to have behaved unlawfully in the conduct of, and participation in, an auction for the sale of Yukos Finance, one of Yukos Oil’s assets that was auctioned off in the course of Yukos Oil’s bankruptcy during 2007.

The case raised serious allegations of dishonest conduct against reputable businessmen and professionals, as well as complex issues of Russian law. It culminated in a seven-week trial ending in July this year. The highly complex case was noted in the legal press as one of the top 20 U.K. cases that would come to trial in 2019.

High Court Judge Sir Michael Burton GBE rejected all allegations of dishonesty and decided all the issues of Russian law in favor of the defendants. In doing so, he observed that Mr. Foresman and the other defendants were “impressive witnesses ... [who] ... gave a very good account of themselves in very difficult circumstances, and, despite vigorous cross-examination, did not accept or indicate any dishonesty….” The judge concluded that none of the defendants was involved in an unlawful agreement to rig the Yukos Finance auction. A copy of the judgment may be viewed here.

The other successful co-defendants were Richard Deitz, Stephen Lynch, Stephen Jennings and Robert Reid.

Akin Gump litigation partner Mark Dawkins, who led the team representing Mr. Foresman, commented, “This very powerful judgment is a complete vindication for Mr. Foresman who has been living with these very serious charges hanging over him for many years. I am delighted for his sake that he has been fully exonerated, along with all the other defendants.”

The Akin Gump team advising Robert Foresman was led by Mark Dawkins in London and Robert H. Pees in New York, supported by senior counsel Sheena Buddhdev and associates Rekha Rogers and Mouna Moussaoui in London. The firm instructed Jonathan Adkin QC of Serle Court and Abra Bompas of One Essex Court.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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