Credit Suisse Trust Ltd, a unit of the collapsed Credit Suisse Group AG, has lost a case against former Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and has been ordered to pay $926 million in damages. As stated in the judgment, the trust breached its duty by failing to safeguard the trust assets.
The amount could be subject to further changes to avoid double recovery, considering that a Bermuda court awarded Ivanishvili over $600 million in damages in a related case.
The dispute between Ivanishvili and Credit Suisse dates back to 2011 when Ivanishvili was a victim of a fraudulent private banker within the Swiss bank, Patrice Lescaudron. Patrice defrauded several clients, including a Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin, to fund his extravagant lifestyle.
Ivanishvili had already won a case against Credit Suisse in Bermuda last year, where he was awarded $607.5 million. The Singapore International Commercial Court has now ordered Credit Suisse’s local subsidiary to pay $926 million, with deductions for the amount already paid. The judge emphasized the need to recalculate the damages awarded in the Bermuda case to avoid double recovery.
Credit Suisse intends to appeal the Singapore judgment, stating that it poses significant legal issues. If the appeal fails, Credit Suisse may have to pay around $500 million, considering previous payments and the award from the Bermuda case. The bank had set aside provisions to cover the Singaporean case, but the amount falls below the expected payment.
Credit Suisse’s representation in the case included Charlie Falconer, the former UK Lord Chancellor, and Cavinder Bull SC of Drew & Napier, who acted as lead counsel for Ivanishvili. UBS has allocated $4 billion to cover Credit Suisse’s regulatory and litigation matters.