BG UK succeeds in striking out $300 million claim brought by Roman Pipia

Sonia Tolaney QC, Alexander Polley and Tim Goldfarb successfully represented BGEO Group Limited (‘BG UK’), a holding company of the Bank of Georgia, in resisting Commercial Court proceedings brought by Mr Roman Pipia seeking around $300 million in damages. 

The trial of the case had been due to start on 19 April 2021 with an estimate of eight weeks. However, in the face of default by Mr Pipia in paying security for costs, BG UK obtained an ‘unless order’ on the first day of trial that Mr Pipia pay the required security within 48 hours or see his claim struck out. In the absence of any such payment, on 21 April 2021, Mrs Justice Cockerill struck out and dismissed Mr Pipia’s claims.

The claims related to enforcement action taken by Bank of Georgia against Rustavi Azot, the largest industrial enterprise and employer in Georgia, of which Mr Pipia claimed to have been the indirect beneficial owner. BG UK vigorously disputed Mr Pipia’s claims as being entirely without factual or legal foundation, and an abuse of the English Court’s process.

Sonia Tolaney QC, Alexander Polley and Tim Goldfarb were instructed by Patrick Swain and Samantha Trevan of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.