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Victory for Gazprom: District Court dismisses billion Euro action by Moncrief

28 April 2010

28 April  2010 - Gazprom won in a further suit of the first instance regarding alleged billion Euro claims by the US company Moncrief Oil International, Inc.: due to a lack of jurisdiction the District Court of Berlin had dismissed the claim against Gazprom which had been filed by the company solely founded for this law suit, Moncrief Oil International (Deutschland) GmbH. Mayer Brown LLP represents Gazprom in the legal action in which Moncrief basically demands interest in a company which exploits the gas field Yushno-Russkoye in Siberia.

The District Court negated a geographical, a factual as well as an international jurisdiction by German courts. It also did not follow Moncrief’s opinion that states the District Court has jurisdiction based upon an urgency jurisdiction (Notzuständikeit) as it alleged it was unconscionable for Moncrief to recourse to the Russian courts.

In 2005 Moncrief had already filed a suit before a trial court in Texas against Gazprom, Wintershall and the E.ON subsidiary Ruhrgas as they did not let it participate in the exploitation of the gas field. The American court dismissed the case due to lack of jurisdiction. Therefore, Moncrief demanded compensation before the District Court of Frankenthal from BASF and Wintershall. Mayer Brown advised BASF and Wintershall. The judges dismissed the billion Euro action in 2007 as unfounded.

Shortly thereafter Moncrief established a German company, the Moncrief Oil International (Deutschland) GmbH, and ceded their (alleged) claims against Gazprom to this company in order to be able to carry an action against Gazprom directly, without having to pay collateral for legal expenses. The District Court of Berlin refused to permit this evasion attempt and in November 2009 it ordered Moncrief by way of an interlocutory judgment to pay a security for Gazprom’s court fees in the amount of EURO 1,813,985.58.

The Mayer Brown team included Dr. Mark C. Hilgard (lead) and Dr. Jan Kraayvanger (both litigation, both Frankfurt), Associate: Dr. Martin Lorenz (litigation, Frankfurt).

For further information, contact:
Friederike Hartmann
Director Marketing & Business Development
T: +49 69 7941 1045
M: +49 160 9019 2756

Dr. Mark C. Hilgard
Partner, Frankfurt
T: +49 69 7941 2271
M:+49 151 1742 3663

Related Information

  • Related People
    Dr. Mark C. Hilgard
    T +49 69 7941 2271
    Dr. Jan Kraayvanger
    T +49 69 7941 2271

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