Pleshakov (Appellant) v Sky Stream Corporation and others (Respondents) (British Virgin Islands)
Case ID: JCPC 2019/0084
Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the British Virgin Islands
Was the Court of Appeal wrong to find that the trial judge had made errors in his approach to the evidence and wrong to intervene in the findings of fact the judge had made on the basis of that evidence? Was the Court of Appeal free to carry out its own evaluation and arrive at its own conclusions?
In the underlying dispute in this appeal, the Appellant claims beneficial ownership of all of the issued shares of the First Respondent, Sky Stream Corporation. In 1990 the Appellant founded a Russian company called Transaero Airlines ("Transaero"). In 2005, the Appellant held (directly or indirectly) around 32% of the shares in Transaero and his family held another around 11% of the shares. Another group of companies ("the BB Group") held just over 43% of the shares in Transaero.
The First Respondent, Sky Stream Corporation, was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands in 2005 for the purposes of acquiring shares in Transaero. The Second and Third Respondents are Russian lawyers. The Appellant contends that upon incorporation of Sky Stream, when its shares were allotted 50:50 to the Second and Third Respondents, these shares were held by them as nominees for him. The Second and Third Respondents were appointed as Sky Stream’s Directors.
In 2013, the Appellant began proceedings seeking a declaration that the Second and Third Respondents acquired the Sky Stream shares as nominees for the Appellant and seeking rectification of the register of members to reflect his ownership of the shares. The Commercial Court allowed the Appellant’s claim and held that the Second and Third Respondents acquired the Sky Stream shares as nominees for the Appellant. In a judgment delivered more than three years after the appeal was heard, the Court of Appeal allowed the Second and Third Respondents’ appeal and set aside the orders made by the Commercial Court. The Appellant now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
Sky Stream Corporation and others
Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens
Hearing start date
28 Jan 2021
Hearing finish date
28 Jan 2021