News (#5-6 May-June 2020)

Cases

Kostiantyn Zhevaho loses appeal against NBU on refinancing of debt

The Supreme Court did not satisfy the appeal filed by Kostiantyn Zhevaho, the former owner of Finance and Credit Bank, and upheld the courts previous decision to collect UAH 1.5 billion from him to repay the banks debt on the refinancing of loans provided earlier by the NBU.

The Supreme Court concluded that the cassation appeal should be dismissed and the disputed decision of the Court of Appeal should be left unchanged, as it was adopted in accordance with procedural rules and regulations.

Privatbank lost suit against offshore companies owned by Surkis brothers

On 15 April the Kyiv Court of Appeal rejected the appeal and upheld the decision of the Pechersk District Court, which ordered state-owned Privatbank to pay more than USD 250 million to offshore companies owned by the Surkis brothers.

On 25 February the Pechersk District Court ordered Privatbank to pay deposits worth more than USD 200 million to offshore companies owned by the brothers.

In February, Lumil Investments LLP and the state bailiff appealed to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv to clarify the court decision of 9 February 2017 to secure a claim filed by companies related to the Surkis brothers in the case on Privatbanks nationalization.

In 2016, the Surkis brothers were recognized as Privatbank insiders as per a decision by the NBU, which pointed out that Ihor Surkis and former Privatbank owner Ihor Kolomoiskyi were shareholders in the 1+1 TV channel, which proved the connection of the Surkis family to Privatbank.

Ihor Surkis held UAH 151 million in his account at Privatbank, Polina Kovalyk (wife of Hryhorii Surkis) UAH 514.1 million, Hryhorii Surkis UAH 163.1 million, Maryna Surkis (daughter of Ihor Surkis) UAH 174.5 million, Rahmil Surkis (father of Surkis brothers) UAH 44.8 million.

The Surkis family is seeking to reverse the decision on their recognition as persons related to the bank in Ukrainian courts.

Privatbank claim against ex-owners will be considered on merits in High Court of London

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom dismissed appeals filed by Ihor Kolomoiskyi and Hennadii Boholiubov, former owners of Privatbank, in respect of permission to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, which confirmed the courts jurisdiction to consider a claim filed by Privatbank against the ex-owners.

By its decision of 6 April 2020, the Supreme Court confirmed that claims in respect of the right to appeal should be dismissed because the claims are not related to matters of law that are currently pending.

The court also ordered the businessmen and companies to reimburse for the costs incurred by Privatbank in respect of their unsuccessful claims. The banks claim will, therefore, now be further considered on its merits by the High Court of London.

Supreme Court refused to return Dniproavia into state ownership

The Supreme Court of Ukraine has refused to satisfy the cassation appeal filed by the State Property Fund, upheld the decision of courts of lower instances, and did not return the Dniproavia Airline owned by Ihor Kolomoiskyi into state ownership.

The SPFU explained its claim by the fact that the defendant, Galtera LLC, improperly fulfiled its obligations to transfer the runway, the radio beacon system, and the land plots, on which these are located, into state ownership by 2 September 2014.

Also, according to estimates by the SPFU, out of UAH 882.1 million worth of investment provided for the renovation of Dnipropetrovsk airport, Galtera paid out just UAH 142.1 million.

The courts stated that the Cabinet of Ministers determined the state authority to which the corresponding property should be transferred only on 4 November 2015. However, since April 2014 (that is, from the beginning of ATO operations), the airport was used by the Ukrainian military, which meant it was impossible to carry out reconstruction of the facility.

The courts also critically assessed the SPFUs argument that the relevant works could be carried out before April 2014, since the date of the start of rebuilding was not specified in the agreement on Dniproavias privatization.

EU Courtrejected Nord Stream 2 AGs lawsuits against EU Gas Directives

The European Court of Justice has rejected claims submitted by Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG for the extension of EU rules to pipelines from third countries.

The General Court of the European Union declares that the actions brought by Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG against Directive 2019/692, which extends certain rules of the internal market in natural gas to pipelines from third countries, are inadmissible, the court stated. Earlier, the German Federal Network Agency refused to exempt Nord Stream 2from EU Gas Directive rules.

EU Court ordered Ryanair to give clear information about full price of tickets

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Ryanair is obliged to indicate thefull price of a ticket when displaying offers on its website. Air carriers must indicate, as soon as their price offers are published on the Internet, VAT charges on domestic flights, any fees charged for paying by credit card, as well as registration fees to be paid, if there are no free registration options offered as an alternative, the court stated in its ruling.

The ECJ delivered its judgment after Italys antitrust body, the AGCM, criticised Ryanair in 2011 for having published prices for air services that did not indicate the amount of VAT on domestic flights, check-in fees and the fees charged for payment by credit card.

The AGCM considered those additional fees to be unavoidable and that the consumer, therefore, had to be informed of them before a booking process was commenced.

As a result, the case was brought to the ECJ. The case will be returned to Italian courts, which must make a final judgement based on the interpretation of EU law.

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