Russia & the CIS

Raedas have 30+ years’ experience conducting complex investigations across Russia and the CIS with a long track-record in supporting clients in the region. Led by co-founder Andrew Wordsworth and supported by a team of fluent Russian speakers, the team have been engaged in many of the last decade’s most prominent disputes connected to the Former Soviet Union.

Working with an ever-expanding network of well-placed sources in the region, we are experts at gathering evidence to be submitted in foreign courts.

Our success with Russian clients is grounded in our detailed and nuanced insights into the inner workings of the states of the Former Soviet Union. Many of the disputes we support originate to some extent in these states, and we regularly incorporate on-the-ground research in these jurisdictions into our investigations. This regular contact feeds our investigative capabilities, and we use this to drive our clients’ investigative and legal strategy.

“Raedas are one of the best” says one lawyer “Andrew is excellent for Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan matters ”- Chambers UK, Litigation Support: Business Intelligence & Investigations. 

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Engaged to gather evidence of a suspected expropriation of a company’s assets in a Caucasus country by the state. Our mandate included investigating expert witnesses and converting our findings into admissible evidence that could be used to discredit those witnesses and their testimonies. We identified a series of inaccuracies and omissions in their testimonies drawn from public record enquiries and human intelligence gathered from source enquiries on the ground in the country. Using sophisticated investigative tools, we evidenced links between government officials and opposition groups hostile to our client’s assets.
Engaged by a Russian bank to identify assets belonging to a Russian debtor. We quickly discovered that the debtor, previously resident in Russia, had since fled to the UK and subsequently Malta, using various structures to protect his assets along the way. With our knowledge of the typical asset protection strategies employed by Russian businesses both inside and outside Russia, we focused our public record research and human source enquiries on Cyprus, the BVI and Panama alongside the UK and Malta. In doing so, we were able to identify unencumbered assets beneficially owned by the debtor above and beyond the value of the debt.
Engaged by UK lawyers looking to enforce a multi-million-dollar arbitral award against a Eurasian conglomerate with close ties to senior members of the government. We were instructed to identify assets owned by the company outside of the specific region and in enforcement-friendly jurisdictions. We worked with the client to develop a veil-piercing strategy arguing that assets owned by the company’s UBOs should be considered attachable for the purposes of enforcing the award.
Engaged to conduct a reverse due diligence exercise on a former country official facing politically motivated corruption allegations. We conducted discreet source enquiries with senior government officials inside the central Asian country and Russia surrounding the official’s departure from government and the embezzlement charges against him.
Bought on to investigate an illicit scheme at a major European bank that had resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for a group of investors from Russia and the CIS. We were tasked with mapping out figures at the bank who were likely involved in the scheme and to identify failings in the bank’s internal compliance and control procedures that would demonstrate the bank’s liability for the losses. We discovered multiple instances of wrongdoing and negligence on behalf of senior managers at the bank and identified a whistle-blower with a dossier of evidence on the scheme and the bank’s complicity in it.
Working for a litigation funder on behalf of a Russian commercial entity, we were engaged to conduct an initial assessment of a Russian debtor’s asset position outside Russia to ascertain the viability of pursuing the debtor in court. Having successfully identified unencumbered, enforceable assets, we supported the client in making Norwich Pharmacal Order requests and ultimately provided the client with the documentary evidence required to freeze and subsequently seize the assets.

KEY CONTACT

NEWS AND INSIGHT

COMMENTARY 20 APRIL 2021

Associate Director Matthew Walker was interviewed by TRT World on 15 April 2021 regarding the sanctions that the Biden administration has imposed on Russia. The sanctions follow allegations by the US of “harmful foreign activities ranging from election...

COMMENTARY 4 MARCH 2020

How would you picture an offshore tax haven? A Caribbean island with sandy beaches and palm trees or snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures? While you would probably imagine the former, two new offshore zones in Russia now offer certain companies the same...

FIRM NEWS 27 JANUARY 2020

Andrew Wordsworth has been invited to present on ‘Preparing and defending your clients from raids in the former Soviet Union’ at the C5 International Disputes and Asset Recovery conference, 29 January 2020. The conference will be held in London....

EVENTS 15 SEPTEMBER 2017

This week Partner Joana Rego spoke at the Kazan Legal International Legal Forum on key issues surrounding enforcements in Russia. The session, moderated by Alina Kudriavtseva and Egorov Puginsky of Afanasiev & Partners looked at The Russian Enforcement...

COMMENTARY 21 FEBRUARY 2017

This article is the second in a two-part series exploring the mechanics and motives of criminal investigations in Russia. How and why do powerful interests manipulate the Russian judicial system? In routine civil disputes, commercial litigation or low-stakes...

COMMENTARY 21 FEBRUARY 2017

This article is the first in a two-part series exploring the mechanics and motives of criminal investigations in Russia. Criminal cases play a major role in commercial and political disputes in Russia. A range of law enforcement agencies and government bodies...

COMMENTARY 17 JANUARY 2017

The controversy around the leaked ‘Trump dossier’ highlights the challenges of information gathering in Russia. But it also suggests a looming threat to the legal process as disinformation grows more sophisticated and likely to be deployed in...

COMMENTARY 30 MAY 2017

It is increasingly difficult to enforce awards and judgements in a world where respondents’ assets are structured by sophisticated financial advisors and scattered across countries with different legal frameworks. This is especially true in Ukraine and...