13 April 2005 – Caroline Muspratt The Daily Telegraph
Simon and David Reuben, the property billionaires, are to sue Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for $300m (£159m) over an alleged breach of contract in a joint metals trading business.
The brothers have won permission to sue Mr Deripaska, who was recently listed as Britain’s sixth richest person with an estimated fortune of £4.38billion.
The Reubens, along with their company Trans-World Metals and former business partner Lev Chernoy, will be able to sue Mr Deripaska and others in the British Virgin Islands after a court ruled that was the proper place for the case to be pursued.
The claim relates to an alleged joint venture between the Reubens, Mr Deripaska and other associates which was set up to trade metals out of London and New York. It is alleged that Mr Deripaska and his co-defendants set up shadow companies to pass off as those owned by the joint venture, and put the trade through these companies.
Mr Deripaska’s lawyers argue the case should be tried in Russia and dispute that a formal contract for the joint venture existed.
The Reubens claim Mr Deripaska terminated their agreement without the proper notice, though the court ruling points out that “the defendants therefore deny the existence of the contract that the claimants say was breached.”
Mr Deripaska has appealed against the Virgin Islands court’s decision.