Yukos bankruptcy denied recognition in the Netherlands

21 Jan 19

Jack Ballantyne gar

The Dutch Supreme Court has confirmed that a Russian judgment declaring the bankruptcy of Yukos should be denied recognition on public policy grounds, ending a long-running battle for control of the Russian oil company’s international assets. In a decision dated 18 January, the court upheld a 2017 ruling by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that the Russian authorities had deliberately sought to bankrupt the oil company. The ruling means that the Dutch courts will not recognise the authority of Yukos’ liquidator to deal in the oil company’s assets…In the latest ruling, the Supreme Court observed that the “principle of mutual trust” in the administration of foreign judgments did not apply in the absence of an international regulation that requires Dutch recognition of the Russian bankruptcy judgment.

The court said recognition was dependent on certain conditions, including that the foreign legal proceedings satisfy the requirements of proper justice and that recognition is not in conflict with Dutch public policy… Former Yukos CEO Steven Theede, who sits on the board of the Yukos Foundation, a Dutch entity that represents the interests of the oil company’s former shareholders, said in a statement that the Dutch Supreme Court ruling is “extremely satisfying” and that it recognises “the blatant theft” of Yukos by the Russian Federation. He described the decision as a “good day for the rule of law” and for the former shareholders. De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek partner Eelco Meerdink says, “It is thanks to the steadfast commitment of the Yukos Foundation board members that assets located outside of Russia are now available for the benefit of shareholders of Yukos Oil.”

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