Manx companies must comply with Russian court order

By Sam Turton  
Monday 8th August 2022 5:44 am
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Exterior view of the Isle of Man Courthouse in Douglas - (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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The island’s High Court has ruled that two island-based companies must comply with a bankruptcy order issued by a court in Russia.

Deemster Andrew Corlett ruled in favour of Dmitry Rodionov, who is the bankruptcy manager in the case of Zukhra Mussaevna Dereva.

The case itself has its origins in Russia, where Mrs Dereva, who is a Russian citizen, was declared bankrupt on June 28 2021.

Mr Rodionov was appointed bankruptcy manager or as it is termed the arbitrazh manager. He brought the case to the island’s courts because there are assets in the Isle of Man in which Mrs Dereva has an interest.

Those companies are Polar Sun Limited and Moonlight Limited, with Fedelta Trust Limited acting as the corporate service provider for those two companies.

In his ruling, Deemster Corlett said: ‘Mr Derev, Mrs Dereva’s husband, was also the subject of proceedings a little while ago and on March 3, 2021, I made a recognition order in respect of his bankruptcy.

‘The jurisdiction is a discretionary one. I am not engaged in a rubber stamping exercise and a wide range of factors must be considered by the court.’

Among the considerations made by Deemster Corlett is that Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe in March 2022 and this essentially removed the presumption that orders from Russia would be enforced as would normally be the case.

However, he added: ‘But, having said that, I do not consider that this has direct relevance to the Orders which were made in this case.

‘The Russian Order as I have just said was made in mid-2021. It in and of itself does not appear to give rise to any human rights issues. It is a bankruptcy order made in respect of someone who owes very considerable amounts of money to her creditors.

‘It is also right for Mrs Clough to draw to my attention that in the Kireeva v Bedshamov case decided by the English Court of Appeal on 21 January 2022, that Court had no difficulty in dealing with the issues arising from the attempt to recognise a Russian order and it was simply dealt with on its merits without reference to any Human Rights issues.’

Deemster Corlett also rejected any allegations of a ‘corporate raid’ or that there was ‘some sort of vendetta against Mrs Dereva’s family’, saying that this had previously been rubbished by the English court.

Furthermore, he said that an attempt by Mrs Dereva to have Mr Rodionov removed and declare the proceedings as invalid was ‘unlikely to be successful’.

In his final ruling, Deemster Corlett said the Manx courts recognise the appointment of Mr Rodionov as trustee in the bankruptcy of Mrs Dereva and that the administration or realisation of all or part of the assets of Mrs Dereva is entrusted to Paul Allen or FRP Advisory Trading Limited, as representative of Mr Rodionov.

Mr Allen is also authorised to take any action and sign any documents relevant to this order on behalf of Mr Rodionov to secure and collect the moveable assets of Mrs Dereva held in the Isle of Man.