The English High Court of Justice has disqualified White & Case as conflicted in a USD 2 billion dispute among Ukrainian businessmen.
Although White & Case had withdrawn from a related arbitration in December, 2013, it had sought to continue in the formal litigation between Victor Pinchuk and rivals Gennady Bogoliubov and Igor Kolomoisky. Upon a finding that an unavoidable conflict of interest existed, the court issued a permanent injunction debarring the international law firm from acting on Pinchuk's behalf.
The Court's determination that White & Case was conflicted was based on the revelation that the firm had previously advised a number of companies in the United States in which Bogoliubov and Kolomoisky has ownership interests. The Court ruled that White & Case was in possession of confidential information that was or might be relevant to the litigation, and that Pinchuk’s interests were or might be adverse to the interests of the claimant.
The smaller Enyo Law (instructing barristers from Brick Court Chambers) represented the claimant companies, whose majority shareholders are Bogliubov and Kolomoisky, and White & Case was represented by Olswang Partner Richard Bamforth (instructing barristers from Fountain Court Chambers). Nabarro Partner Tom Dane (instructing counsel from Blackstone Chambers) represented Pinchuk in his ultimately unsuccessful intervention on behalf of White & Case.