Blow for Macfarlanes’ client over oligarch’s $350m freezing order

A Russian billionaire being sued by a former business partner has failed in his attempts to not have the details of a worldwide freezing order (WFO) on assets worth up to $350m disclosed to the claimant in a recent High Court judgment.

Fishing magnate Vitaly Orlov, advised by Macfarlanes head of fraud James Popperwell, is in the midst of a protracted legal battle against former business partner Alexander Tugushev who is attempting to claim, what he says, in a one-third interest in Orlov’s $1.5bn-valued Norebo Group business.

Orlov and Macfarlanes had not opposed the WFO, but rather argued that some details of Orlov’s assets be passed only to Tugushev’s lawyer and not to Tugushev himself.

The WFO was granted on 23 July after Tugushev had first brought the claim against Orlov and Norwegian Norebo co-founder Magnus Roth.

Roth, as second defendant, was not present at the hearing, nor was third defendant and UK-based Norebo executive Andrey Petrik.

The non-disclosure application was heard before Mr Justice Teare who acted owing to the absence of Mr Justice Jacobs who had made the original decision to allow the WFO.

Peters & Peters head of international Keith Oliver and partner Jason Woodland advised Tugushev, instructing Brick Court Chambers’ Richard Slade QC and Richard Blakeley.

Popperwell is advising Orlov, instructing Three Raymond Buildings’ James Lewis QC who was brought on to agree Orlov’s self-incrimination defence. Fountain Court Chambers’ Paul Sinclair is also thought to be advising, but was not instructed on this particular hearing.

A spokesperson for Tuguchev said: “The High Court’s decision marks another positive step in [his] battle to regain the shares in the Norebo Group that were illegally taken from me. I am very proud of what was achieved during my 17 years with the Norebo Group, and refuse to be deprived of these achievements by Mr Orlov. I will continue to fight for my interest in the company and right the wrongs perpetrated by my former business partner.”

Tugushev’s lawyers are now required to file evidence in the case by 8 October ahead of a one-day hearing which is now expected to take place on 15 October.

The legal lineup:

For the claimant, Alexander Tuguchev

Brick Court Chambers’ Richard Slade QC and Richard Blakeley, instructed by Peters & Peters head of international Keith Oliver and partner Jason Woodland

For the defendant, Vitaly Orlov

Three Raymond Buildings’ James Lewis QC, instructed by Macfarlanes head of fraud James Popperwell




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