Russian businessman Maxim Finskiy has initiated civil legal proceedings in the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) and Canada in response to what he asserts was a Russian state-sponsored corporate raid that forced him to relinquish his ownership interest and management role in publicly-traded gold mining company White Tiger Gold Ltd. (“White Tiger”) in 2013.
The same legal proceedings are also directed at clearing Finskiy’s name after Sergey Yanchukov (“Yanchukov”) – an investor in White Tiger with alleged financial connections to an unnamed high-level Russian government official, and the perpetrator of the alleged raid – subsequently caused a baseless criminal investigation to be commenced against Finskiy in Russia.
Finskiy, the founder and former Executive Chairman of White Tiger, was detained and placed under house arrest in Moscow in March 2015 after Yanchukov made various allegations of financial fraud that Finskiy will show were demonstrably false, according to representatives. Having escaped Russia, Finskiy has now sued Yanchukov and two of his companies in the BVI, where Yanchukov’s companies are located, for an adjudication of the true facts. Separately, Finskiy has initiated legal proceedings against Yanchukov and his companies in Canada for money damages, a jurisdiction in which Yanchukov agreed to resolve any disputes surrounding the sale of Finskiy’s White Tiger shares to Yanchukov, alleging that Yanchukov intentionally depressed the value of White Tiger stock and forced Finskiy to sell out to Yanchukov at a discount.
“It is time to shine the light of truth on the false persecution of our client, and to separate fact from fiction,” said Robert Amsterdam, co-counsel hired by Finskiy to defend his rights. “Mr. Finskiy’s case is a classic example of Russian-style asset theft. Moreover, Mr. Yanchukov was apparently not satisfied with pressuring Mr. Finskiy to transfer his stake in White Tiger at a huge markdown, because, as we have alleged, he later threatened to have Mr. Finskiy murdered unless he agreed to pay Mr. Yanchukov an additional $150 million,” Amsterdam noted.
According to Finskiy’s lawyers, Finskiy has filed civil proceedings in both Canada and the BVI in order to preserve Finskiy’s rights and to recover substantial money damages, and because it is clear that there is jurisdiction over aspects of the dispute in both locations. In addition to a request for an adjudication of the true facts, the civil proceedings pray for damages of $185 million for breach of contract and conspiracy, and they seek to bar Yanchukov from suing Finskiy in any other forum based on the same facts.
Finskiy is also represented by Harold E. Patricoff, Jr. of Shutts & Bowen LLP in Miami, a Florida-based law firm with approximately 250 attorneys in eight offices. Mr. Patricoff is Chairman of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Practice Group and a veteran of numerous cross-border disputes around the world.
Amsterdam & Partners LLP is an international law firm with offices in London and Washington DC, specializing in political advocacy and cross-border disputes. Founded by Robert R. Amsterdam, legal counsel to former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the firm’s list of client notables includes Russian State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand, and Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda, among others.