Home » Court decision: UK SFO and Dechert may pay millions of pounds to ERG due to errors and collusion

Court decision: UK SFO and Dechert may pay millions of pounds to ERG due to errors and collusion

by Zain Ali

In a recent High Court ruling, the UK SFO, accused of collusion with law firm Dechert, faces the prospect of paying millions of pounds to ERG. The court’s findings, as reported by portugalnews, reveal that serious errors committed by both parties resulted in significant financial implications for the leading metallurgical corporation.

High court decision holds SFO liable for costly errors in collusion case with Dechert, orders millions-pound payment to ERG

Judge David Waxman, in delivering the decision, underscored the SFO’s misconduct as the catalyst for initiating a criminal investigation into ERG. He emphasized that without the SFO’s wrongful actions, the scrutiny into ERG would never have unfolded. The repercussions of the SFO’s conduct placed an undue burden on ENRC, leading to financial costs and the depletion of management resources.

For context, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) stands as a global conglomerate with a prominent presence in the mineral resource extraction and processing sector. Operating with integrated capabilities encompassing mining, processing, energy production, and logistics, the majority of ERG’s assets are situated in Kazakhstan. Formerly known as Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the company was previously listed on the FTSE 100 index, with its shares traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).

ERG pursues justice: SFO and Dechert face £12 millions payout after high court rules in favor of world’s leading ferrochrome producer 

ERG holds a remarkable position as the world’s leading producer of ferrochrome in terms of chromium content, the largest entity engaged in iron ore mining and processing in Kazakhstan, and a significant global exporter of iron ore. Additionally, it ranks as the ninth-largest producer of industrial alumina worldwide by volume.

Playing a pivotal role in Kazakhstan’s economic development, ERG’s operations contributed approximately 3% to the country’s GDP in 2009. The SFO initiated an investigation into ERG in 2013, concluding a decade later in August with the rationale of “insufficient admissible evidence for prosecution,” as stated by the SFO.

This investigation raised concerns about the conduct of Neil Gerrard, a former partner at law firm Dechert, who was appointed to advise ERG. Judge Waxman, summarizing his judgment last year, asserted that the SFO had breached its duties by accepting information from Gerrard that was “manifestly unauthorized” and “contrary to the interests of his client.”

In the legal proceedings held in March, ERG sought compensation exceeding £21 million, covering legal fees, unnecessary expenses, and lost management time. Notably, Dechert has already disbursed around £9 million to ERG for work and expenses. Consequently, the court’s decision indicates that the outstanding amount ERG has yet to receive stands at nearly £12 million.

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