The International Centre for Legal Protection (ICLP) is an independent body set up to defend the Russian Federation in complex legal disputes such as the Yukos case. The ICLP was established by two major Russian legal research institutions: Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Federal State Research Institution “Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law”. Given the diversity of jurisdictions in which the Russian Federation has been attacked in the Yukos case, the ICLP has been playing an important role in coordinating the efforts of international legal teams on the one hand and bringing in the best Russian experts to work on the case on the other.
Andrey Kondakov has been Director General since June 2015 following a diplomatic career including roles as delegate to G8 summits and as a member of the Governmental Commission of the Russian Federation on the Accession to the WTO and OECD. Prior to heading up the ICLP, Andrey was President of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB).
Q&A with Andrey Kondakov
What is the purpose of ICLP?
We have the vitally important role of defending Russia against claims from the Yukos oligarchs. This is our principal objective.
How big is the job?
Huge, multi-faceted and complex. The Yukos oligarchs are doing everything they can to utilise the international legal system to extract yet more from Russia. This must be stopped. Anything they get comes ultimately from the Russian taxpayer.
How successful have you been?
We are making good progress. The vast $50bn arbitral awards made in The Hague were overturned by the Dutch court. This was a major victory. The Yukos oligarchs also withdrew their enforcement proceedings in France, Belgium, Germany and India. Respective Courts suspended similar proceedings in the UK and the USA. The Swedish Svea Court of Appel annulled two arbirtal awards in favour of the Spanish minority shareholders of Yukos and RosInvestco UK, a British shareholder of Yukos.
Are the Yukos oligarchs still making claims?
Yes, they are appealing the Dutch court decision to overturn the award. Moreover, several years ago they launched second wave of arbitrations by filing claims on behalf of Yukos Capital, Luxtona and FPH. The latter arbitration was later discontinued by the Yukos oligarchs.
How confident are you?
We will succeed. We have the best lawyers and will not let the Yukos oligarchs do more harm. The Yukos oligarchs seizure attempts are grinding to a halt. Their appeal needs to overturn our 6 powerful arguments any one of which could block their appeal.
What drives you?
A determination to stop the Yukos oligarchs in their tracks. They took over Yukos by means of a rigged auction and by bribing public officials. They then evaded billions in tax. When faced with a tax demand they spirited the Yukos cash into tax havens in Cyprus and the Isle of Man. The idea they should extract more from the Russian taxpayer is despicable.