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 enforcement

The 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 results

Winning your case can turn on the quality of information and evidence we can secure on your behalf. Then 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 over 150 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 the only major onshore firm with a presence actually 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.

For further help or information

Get in touch

15 June 2018 - Article

Akhmedov vs Akhmedova: The super yacht saga – what happened in Dubai

Read More


2022 Chambers UK: leading firm for civil fraud

2022 Legal 500 UK, top ranked in commercial litigation: mid-market (band 1)

2022 Legal 500 UK, leading firm for civil fraud

Legal 500 UK 2019: Leading firm for commercial litigation

Leading firm for civil fraud

Leading firm for civil fraud

Leading firm for commercial litigation

Meet the team

Manage your dispute, in private

Very few people want to drag their companies, families and personal lives though the courts or the media.

Read more

Track record

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 $350m mega-yacht to our client.

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<br />

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.

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

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.

Enforcing a Russian Judgment in the British Virgin Islands and obtaining an interim freezing injunction and receivership order in aid of enforcement proceedings

Assisting a well-known Russian businesswoman in enforcing a Russian judgment against shares in two BVI companies, which hold, via subsidiary companies in Russia, interests in valuable commercial real estate in Moscow and obtaining a freezing and receivership to preserve the Russian assets pending determination of the enforcement proceedings in the BVI.

Acting for BVI liquidators to collect in worldwide assets

Acting for the liquidators of 19 connected BVI hedge funds to successfully 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,

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

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.

Would you like to hear more from us?

Visit our subscriptions page to tell us a bit more about what you’re interested in so we can send you relevant news.