The trust which faltered

Sergey Pugachev's assets could not withstand the London court.
Hide assets from creditors for foreign trusts Russian owners become more difficult. As the dispute Deposit Insurance Agency to the former beneficiary of a bankrupt Industrial Bank Sergey Pugachev in London, this way of protection of property is not a panacea. In the case involving Mr. Pugachev to pay off the creditors of the bank it has had a chance to count on a fairly extensive list of assets still hidden safely in trust structures. Failure of the former Industrial Bank of the beneficiary of the disclosure of assets in trusts has not been adopted by the London court, but an attempt to appeal the order to the declassification of trusts failed.

"B" has familiarized with the decision of the High Court in London on October 30, almost no alternative binding Sergei Pugachev to disclose detailed information about assets, identity of trustees, founders, trustees and others. Five of New Zealand Trusts, one of the beneficiaries of which is Mr. Pugachev. As follows from the document, it is he himself pointed out on July 23, providing information about their assets throughout the world in response to prickof the High Court in London on 11 July about the arrest of his property worth £ 1,171 billion to ensure the Russian claim about bringing Mr. Pugachev to vicarious liability for controlled bankruptcy IIB. But on the more detailed information on trusts Mr. Pugachev then abstained. This did not suit the plaintiff in the Russian and English courts Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA, the bankruptcy trustee bankrotyaschegosya IIB).

It petitioned the London court for publication of additional orders for disclosure of information separately for trusts and 25 July this order was issued by the court. Trying to control his trusts failed to challenge: in fact, the decision of 30 October, on the question now - is the court's refusal to cancel or change the order of the declassification of trust at the request of their managers.

Thus, Sergei Pugachev, seems almost exhausted the possibilities of hiding assets in trusts.

As it follows from the decision of the court, so it treats the situation DIA. They believe that the trusts - no more than a formal legal framework within whichs ownership of assets is carried out in the interests of Mr. Pugachev and that he himself had controlled. Among the grounds for so believing in the courts cited, in particular, the fact that one of the trusts indirectly owns property in the heart of London, is the main place of residence of Mr. Pugachev. And rents accrued Mr. Pugachev, but was not paid to them. This DIA lawyers conclude that he can influence the trusts to the document. It also shows another argument: given the lack of clarity on the issue, what is funded by "a very expensive lifestyle," Mr. Pugachev and his family, it is possible that the implications for trusts. In the end, as follows from the text of the court decision, concrete evidence of its market relations with Sergey Pugachev trusts are not reported.

Trustees of trusts in support of their case referred to the confidentiality of data on the risks of disclosing themselves trustees and beneficiaries of trusts the other, the fact that Mr. Pugachev as merely TrEzion beneficiary of the trust does not have property rights to his assets, but can only act as the recipient of the distributable income trust. Block the assets of the trust can be only if it is fictitious, that is established for the purpose of concealing, and while this has not been proven, and there is nothing to block it.

However, all this did not convince the court or when making an order for the disclosure of information or when you try to trust his appeal. The proposed interpretation of the trust assets to be seized, the court found a very narrow, and some of their arguments - questionable. In particular, the court's decision shows that the representatives of the trustees of trusts are confused in his testimony as to whether or not passed on Sergei Pugachev any assets in these trusts, in some indications answering this question in the affirmative, in the other - negative. Moreover, the court pointed out that the trusts could provide evidence that they have multiple beneficiaries, but they did not. In addition, raised questions and the fact that earlier, at the time of a court order of July 11, Mr. Pugachev was a trustee of allx trusts, and now is not, and what powers he possessed no documents establishing the trust can not be found.

In this situation, the two referees - Delivers an order for disclosure of information and to confirm its legitimacy - found it necessary additional disclosure. "In such circumstances, it seems to me clear that the Court has jurisdiction to order the disclosure of information on trusts," - said in the judgment of October 30 handed down by the judge, David Richards. Moreover, in his opinion, the court may even "take a decision to cross-examine the defendant's relative not disclosed a possible asset or possible possession of control against them." The DIA did not comment on the situation. The representative of Sergei Pugachev said that he and his lawyers did not know anything about these processes and they do not participate in them.

The requirement to disclose information on the trust by the courts rarely claimed. This may require the courts in cases where the identified assets of the debtor are insufficient to cover the debt. In this case the creditor must provebe the connection the debtor with the trust or to create doubt in the court that the trust manager is independent in its actions. To say that there was a trust created for the protection of assets from a particular lender, or simply for the effective management of its resources, it will be possible only after the receipt of the trust documents.

Possibilities of further struggle for the preservation of Sergei Pugachev veil of secrecy over the assets of trusts rather limited, the lawyers indicate that in the case of bringing him to vicarious liability to IIB creditors (banks remain they should be about 80 billion rubles.) Increases the chances of the latter to compensate their losses. "Theoretically, trusts have the opportunity to further appeal the order for disclosure of information, but the criteria for filing a complaint is very narrow, and should result in a very strong case to be admitted for consideration," - says the partner at the law firm "Nektorov, Saveliev and Partners" Natalia Sokolova.

However, in her opinion, to get information on the trust is not enough. The difficulty, if trusts real (but not reverse until the proofo), will be the foreclosure of assets in them (in case of winning the main action). "As soon as the Trust made assets, they become the property of the trust. To foreclose on the benefit of the beneficiary (beneficiary) is not always possible, as in internal documents of the Trust may be restricted to this. If the payment to the beneficiary a deadline, for example in ten years, before the expiry of any arrest or recover this income can not be ", - points out Mrs. Sokolova. However, the court may determine that, as soon as the time comes for payment to the beneficiary, the money is transferred for the benefit of its creditors, she points out.