On 11 September 2020, in trying the case PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Ors (Case No: CL-2016-000172), the High Court of London created a judicial precedent which has had a revolutionary impact on the protection of interests of Russian companies and entrepreneurs in English courts.
The High Court confirmed that the English legal concept of legal advice privilege (a theory that enables a party to a dispute keep advices of its lawyers protected from disclosure in court) applies to client’s communications with foreign corporate lawyers, as well as external legal advisors, irrespective of their status in accordance with the national legal profession regulation.
Previously, the privilege was not fully covering representatives of Russian companies in English proceedings. Given that English law is driven by judicial precedents, it is difficult to overestimate the meaning of this decision.
Alexander Yagelnitskiy, of counsel at Petrol Chilikov, Associate Professor at the Private Law Department of the Law Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University, presented his expert opinion with respect to the litigation matter to support the claimant’s arguments. The team representing PJSC Tatneft in this case also includes lawyers of Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners, lawyers of the London branch of Debevoise & Plimpton, and Henry King QC, Fountain Court Chambers.