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Freshfields acts for Deutsche Bank on landmark contempt decision

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ('Freshfields') acted for Deutsche Bank in its contempt application against Alexander Vik, on which judgment for the bank was handed down this morning.

Around $340million is owed to the bank by Sebastian Holdings, which Mr Vik was formerly the sole shareholder and director of.

That debt arises from a judgment in the bank’s favour against Sebastian Holdings given in 2013 in proceedings in which Freshfields also acted for the bank. Since that judgement Freshfields has acted for Deutsche Bank in matters relating to the judgment, including securing what is thought to be the largest non-party costs order ever against Mr Vik due to his role in directing Sebastian Holdings’ conduct in the litigation.

Today’s detailed 100 page judgment finds that Mr Vik lied about and concealed documents concerning the assets of Sebastian Holdings, in defiance of Court Orders made to assist Deutsche Bank in enforcing the judgment debt against such assets.

Deutsche Bank is now seeking an order that Mr Vik be required to correct his contempt by giving true evidence and proper disclosure about Sebastian Holdings’ assets.  In the event that Mr Vik does not do so the Court ultimately has the power to impose a custodial sentence.

The Freshfields team was led by Andrew Hart, Freshfields’ global disputes head, and Christopher Robinson, who leads the firm’s London financial disputes practice.

Freshfields instructed Sonia Tolaney QC and James MacDonald QC, both of One Essex Court


Deutsche Bank AG v Vik CL-2009-000709 Judgment
(PDF - 623.8 KB)

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