Latvijas Kuģniecība

LSC claims against Lembergs continue


LSC claims against Lembergs continue

july 30, 2012 / News

 Latvian Shipping Company's (LSC) right to continue its case against Aivars Lembergs has been confirmed by the UK Courts on Friday. The appeal is on a technical legal issue as to whether the UK Courts are entitled to exercise jurisdiction over Aivars Lembergs in relation to LSC’s claims against him, for losses in excess of USD 130 million, arising from a series of frauds against the company of which Aivars Lembergs, his family and associates are alleged to be amongst the main beneficiaries.

Although LSC had already persuaded the High Court in London of the strength of their factual case against Lembergs, the case had looked as if it might stall on a technical legal issue as to whether the UK Court, which is clearly the proper legal forum for the related claims against all the other defendants, could force Lembergs to participate in the process too.

Lembergs had been hoping that he would get off the hook as a result of a decision in an unrelated case, VTB against Nutritek, which had cast doubt on whether he could be sued in respect of these frauds in the UK. However, the UK Supreme Court today confirmed that it was planning to review the decision in the VTB case.

This means that the case against Lembergs will continue for the foreseeable future. It also means that the Worldwide Freezing Order over the assets of Mr Lembergs , including those held by his children, will remain in force until all of these issues are resolved, to ensure that the family's  assets are available to cover LSC's losses, as and when it fully succeeds in its claims.

“As the judge in the UK Court has already indicated, based on the facts presented, Latvian Shipping Company has a case of sufficient strength against Mr Lembergs to enable it to proceed. Latvian Shipping Company does not want to see Mr Lembergs get out of a fair hearing of the case on a technicality – an issue of jurisdiction”, reaffirms Simon Blaydes, Chairman of the Management Board of Latvian Shipping Company.

Simons Blaydes emphasises that "On current evidence, Aivars Lembergs, his family and associates appear to have been among the main beneficiaries of activities where the financial assets were lost through fraudulent charter schemes and other activities which have removed cash and other assets from Latvian Shipping and its shareholders, who include the Latvian State. There are likely to be a great many court hearings in relation to these matters in the coming years. Latvian Shipping Company wants to recover its stolen financial assets which may amount to 135 million USD."