Timothy Brennan QC appears for the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights

Timothy Brennan QC appeared on behalf of the Russian Federation, as part of a team of English and Russian lawyers, at the oral hearing in the European Court of Human Rights in OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya YUKOS v. Russia on 4 March 2010.

The case concerns the applicant company's complaint that it was targeted by the Russian authorities with tax and enforcement proceedings which eventually led to its liquidation.

YUKOS was a publicly-traded company incorporated under Russian law as a holding company in the area of oil production. The company was State-owned until the mid-1990s when it was privatised.

From late 2002 the company was the subject of tax proceedings in which it was found guilty of repeated tax fraud, in particular for having used an illegal tax evasion scheme in 2000-2003. The tax and enforcement proceedings resulted in the forced auction of OAO Yuganskneftegaz, the company’s most valuable subsidiary. The applicant company was declared insolvent on 4 August 2006 and liquidated on 12 November 2007.

The application was lodged with the Court on 23 April 2004 and was declared partly admissible on 29 January 2009.

The applicant complains of alleged breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly Article 6 (fair trial), Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and Article 7 (no punishment without law).

The claim for just satisfaction [compensation] under Article 41 of the Convention is put at more than US$ 98 billion.

The case has attracted extensive media coverage, some of which are below:

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