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Legal Minds

29 October 2015 / by / in , ,

What are Assets?

In the recent decision in JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2015] UKSC 64, the UK Supreme Court determined that for the purposes of breaching a freezing order, dealing with ‘assets’ included dealing with sums drawn down under loan agreements. This seems surprising in view of the fact that  under the strict construction principle the meaning of ‘assets’ should safely be understood given the serious consequences which flow from the contravention of a freezing order; namely contempt of court punishable by imprisonment. The Supreme Court appears  more concerned that the spirit of an order should not be circumvented rather than a adopting a literal interpretation.


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John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.