Category Archives: M & S Updates

Bruce Marks evaluates the impact of US sanctions on Russian economy

April 7, 2018

Bruce Marks gave an interview to RIA News. He expressed his concern that US sanctions will significantly affect the Russian economy and business of Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Suleiman Kerimov, as well as other listed Russian businessmen.

On April 6, 2018 the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on 38 individuals and companies close to Russian President Vladimir Putin — including seven Russian oligarchs and 17 government officials.

Kaspersky Lab challenges the U.S. Government ban on its products

January 23, 2018

Bruce Marks gives an interview to RIA News on US government’s decision to ban the use of Kaspersky Lab products in federal agencies. He thinks that the Russian brand of security software doesn’t have any chances to appeal the decision. The president has a very strong  position in the issues of the national security and there is a possibility that Kaspersky might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.

See full article 

Bruce Marks gave an interview to RIA News on D. Trump’s accomplishments

January 21, 2018

Bruce Marks gives an interview to RIA News on D. Trump’s first year accomplishments. He points that the president is boosting the U.S. economy with tax reform as well as improving the US immigration system.

RIA News

Sergey Bespalov represents the relatives of the victims of the Sinai crash for 1.4 billion euros

Sergei Bespalov, of counsel to Marks & Sokolov, LLC, was retained as lead counsel to represent families of victims of the tragic Metrojet Flight 9268 crash, which occurred on October 31, 2015.  The flight crashed in the Sinai, while en-route from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg, Russia.  All 217 passengers and seven crew members were killed.   The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of 149 plaintiffs  in the Zamoskvoretskiy court in Moscow, Russia, in October of 2017, seeks damages in excess of €1.4 billion.

The Ohio Court of Appeals affirms Marks & Sokolov, LLC’s successful dismissal of a compliant based on the “internal affairs” doctrine

What the case involved: Plaintiffs, including a shareholder in a BVI holding company, brought an action in Ohio state court alleged self-dealing transactions by other shareholders related to a purported $58.5 million investment in the BVI company’s main asset – a Delaware LLC which owned a steel company located in Ohio. Plaintiffs initially obtained a temporary restraining order, enjoining the sale of the steel company and the transfer of its assets.

Trial Court Result: Marks & Sokolov, LLC successfully obtained dismissal of all of the Plaintiffs’ claims for inspection of books and records and an accounting related to the Ohio steel plant under the internal affairs doctrine.   First, the trial court held that since Halliwel is incorporated under BVI law, the internal affairs doctrine mandated that BVI law be followed in determining the viability of Plaintiffs’ claims.  Second, the trial court determined Plaintiffs’ claims for conspiracy, fraud, and theft related to the $58.5 investment were derivative and could not be brought without BVI High court approval, as required by BVI law.  Third, in the alternative, the trial court dismissed for forum non conveniens because the BVI is an adequate forum, no critical sources of proof or witnesses were located in Ohio, and difficult questions of BVI law were at issue. Plaintiffs appealed.

Appeal Result: Marks & Sokolov, LLC successfully defeated the appeal with the Ohio Court of Appeals, which affirmed dismissal on September 11, 2017 pursuant to the internal affairs doctrine.   First, Court of Appeals affirmed that Plaintiffs’ claims should be analyzed under the laws of the BVI, the site of Halliwel’s incorporation.  The Court of Appeals rejected Plaintiffs’ argument Ohio law should be applied even though the steel plant was located in Ohio because the actual dispute between shareholders had no clear connection to Ohio.  Second, the Court of Appeals rejected Plaintiffs’ contention that the internal affairs doctrine had no application to their claims brought under Ohio law because Plaintiffs made no allegations that the subject matter loan agreements or contracts were negotiated or executed in Ohio; or that any aspect of the alleged conspiracy occurred within Ohio. Third, the Court of Appeals rejected Plaintiffs’ contention that the internal affairs doctrine did not apply because their claims were brought as “creditors” and affirmed the trial court’s ruling that Plaintiffs’ claims could only be characterized as “shareholder” based causes of actions, either direct or derivative.   As a result, it affirmed dismissal of the derivative claims because Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring such claims without leave from the BVI High Court under BVI law, which they did not obtain.   The Court of Appeals was not required to address the forum non coveniens or inspection of books and records issues.

Thomas Sullivan is to speak at ABA’s IX Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes

On December 8, 2017, the American Bar Association’s  Ninth Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes, will be held at the Marriott Novy Arbat, Moscow, Russia. The conference will be attended by representatives of more than one hundred law firms from Europe, Asia and America.

Thomas Sullivan of Marks & Sokolov, LLC will be speaking on the topic of foreign litigants taking discovery in the United States pursuant to 28 USC §1782, for use in legal proceedings in their home forum.  The conference is dedicated to navigating business disputes between Russian and US-EU companies, resolution of shareholder disputes under the new Russian arbitration law, enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and judgments, and strategic considerations in cross-border business disputes.

Event info

Presentation: Obtaining U.S. Discovery For Use In Non-U.S. Tribunals Pursuant To 28 U.S.C. § 1782