International asset tracing and enforcement
Success in litigation is more than securing the court’s decision in your favor. It’s about actually being paid what you are owed.The news you have won will quickly feel empty if assets have been transferred or hidden in the meantime. At every stage of litigation – including in your very first decision about whether it is worth investing your time and resources to go ahead at all – information is key.
This is why we actually start at the end when you come to us for help. We think about how we will recover what you are owed. We establish what assets exist, and how we will actually access them. The location, nature and value of these assets then play a critical role in the way we set the whole strategy of your case. For example, this information will help us decide where in the world to have your case heard. Or it will help us deploy “interim” solutions like freezing and disclosure orders to preserve the assets while your underlying case is heard.
Acting in a £450 million enforcementThe ability to effectively trace and recover assets was the reason Ms Akmedova chose us to fight her corner. Her husband was fighting dirty in their dispute, hiding assets globally. He was ordered by the English High Court to pay our client £350 million plus an art collection valued at around £90 million. Defying these orders however, he transferred money and artwork to Liechtenstein, created debts to himself and sailed their superyacht from Turkey to Dubai. We led the global enforcement battle for Ms Akmedova. We took action in Dubai – in the DIFC and local courts – to seize the yacht and then obtained a worldwide freezing order in the English High Court that allowed us to pierce the corporate ownership structures that had been set up to hide the yacht and other assets. We then worked to have English judgment recognized in New York and the Marshall Islands, and pursue enforcement orders in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. We recovered a Bombardier jet and E360 helicopter from Isle of Man companies they had been registered with.
Getting resultsWinning your case can turn on the quality of information and evidence we can secure on your behalf. Once you have a decision in your favor, tracing information globally helps us successfully deliver on what you are owed. Being part of a team of hundreds of litigators globally helps us find information across the world, and to liaise with local courts when needed. We have people who focus entirely on trusts and offshore structures so that we can dismantle or reverse structures that have been designed to put your assets out of reach. We are one of the only major onshore firms with a presence in the BVI, which gives us the unique combination of a major international platform and access to these complex offshore structures.
Securing information like this helps you avoid cost and effort. We have decades of experience using the tools that are essential to chasing down and recovering the assets awarded to you in a court decision, to doing all we can to make your result a success.
Acting for BVI liquidators to collect in worldwide assets
Successfully acted for the liquidators of 19 connected BVI hedge funds to collect in the worldwide estate (US (US$ 25m), Channel Islands (US$ 25m), UK (US$ 10m) & others). Defending claims to assets of liquidation estate brought by a US Receiver appointed following an application by the US CFTC and also successfully acted in a professional negligence claim against the hedge funds former UK lawyers, resulting in a substantial recovery.
Acting in recognition and enforcement proceedings in the DIFC and Dubai local courts
When the defendant took his £350 million mega yacht to Dubai, Withers used the DIFC Court as a conduit through which to get an order for enforcement from the Dubai local courts. The case was heard by both the DIFC Court of Appeal and the Joint Judicial Committee.
Coordinating recognition and enforcement proceedings in the Marshall Islands of a £450m English judgment
Coordinating the enforcement strategy in the Marshall Islands to seek recognition and enforcement of an English Court order ordering the defendant to transfer legal title to a $350million mega-yacht to our client.
Enforcement of a Russian judgment in BVI
Acting for a Russian individual to enforce a Russian judgment in the BVI over shares in a company beneficially owned by a Russian judgment debtor. Also involved proceedings in the Seychelles, a Freezing Order and the appointment of a Receiver in the BVI who subsequently took control of Russian companies which owned substantial assets in Russia against which our client could enforce.
Enforcement of arbitration award in the District of Colombia made in investor-State proceedings against a CIS state
Recognition and enforcement of an SCC award before District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of successful claimants in an investor-State arbitration against a CIS State.
Enforcement proceedings in Italy of ICC arbitral award
Assisting a Saudi family-owned group in the recognition and enforcement of an ICC arbitration against an Italian apparel company before Italian courts and parallel claw-back action and asset freezing proceedings
Freezing Injunctions in family proceedings
Acting for various individuals to simultaneously obtain freezing injunctions in both England and BVI to protect marital assets prior to the onset of divorce proceedings in England
Piercing the corporate veil of a Liechtenstein corporate cipher
Withers achieved a rare success by successfully piercing the corporate veil of a Liechtenstein company set up as a sham by the judgment debtor for the purposes of hiding assets.
Recognition and enforcement proceedings in the Isle of Man to recover aircrafts
Coordinating with local counsel to obtain freezing orders and delivery up of a private jet and helicopter both registered in the name of companies incorporated in the Isle of Man
Recovery of 300 valuable artworks from galleries and auction houses in Switzerland, Europe and USA
Acting for a Greek family trust company in a dispute against a beneficiary over the ownership of over 300 paintings worth ca. US$16 million which had been sold or transferred to third parties or pledged as security for loans. Enforcement proceedings took place in Europe, Switzerland and the US and included injunctive proceedings in New York, applications for delivery up and contempt of court.
Manage your dispute in private
Very few people want to drag their companies, families and personal lives through the courts or the media.
However, when a commercial or personal dispute arises, a court battle may seem like the only option. But there are alternatives, and we can help.
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Typical clients and industries include
ArtWe represent many of the world’s top art collectors, museums and institutions. Our long history enables us to offer advice on everything from structuring transactions to challenging fraud. Find Out More
Aviation and marineBuying a yacht or private jet should be a pleasure, not a headache. Our global team can cover all the technical aspects of each transaction, as well as the tax treatment of luxury assets. Find Out More
High net worth individualsWith complex interests that often span several jurisdictions, highly successful people need seamless advice. With a full-service offering across our offices around the world, we provide just that. Find Out More
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