US Law firm Sidley Austin successfully defends Mongolian client in High Court case against Standard Bank

Sidley Austin has successfully acted for the Mongolian national railway company in a $55m (£33m) High Court battle against Standard Bank.
The firm's client, JSC Ulaanbaatar Railways (UBR), faced a claim from Standard Bank for the direct payment of loans relating to a diesel order.
Although a full judgement is yet to be issued, the presiding judge Mr Justice Walker found Standard Bank's claim - while sufficiently strong to be tried on the merits - failed to clear the Civil Procedure Rules governing the jurisdictional gateway, and that the English court was not the proper forum for the case.
The High Court found the circumstances of the case pointed strongly to the Mongolian courts, and that it had not been established that a foreign investor such as Standard Bank would be treated unjustly if there were a trial in Ulaanbaatar.
UBR turned to a Sidley team headed by litigation partner Matthew Shankland - who joined the firm from Weil Gotshal & Manges last year - alongside associate Barney Connell.
For the court appearances, Sidley instructed Daniel Toledano QC and Henry Hoskins of One Essex Court, while UBR retained Maizorig Janchivdorj of MDS & Associates in Ulaanbaatar.
Meanwhile, Clifford Chance (CC) litigation partner Roger Best and senior associate Chris Yates acted for Standard Bank, instructing David Joseph QC and Edward Brown of Essex Court Chambers.
CC is understood to be advising the bank in related arbitration matters.
"Our client is delighted with this outcome. It has always been their position that they were improperly joined in these proceedings in London and that the process was an attempt to avoid the obviously proper forum," commented Shankland. "This is a very sound ruling against forum shopping."
The litigator said the firm's decision to take an adverse position to a bank was fairly unique. "It depends on the situation with regard to conflict," he said. "Sidley doesn't make a habit of it, but we have a quite heavy focus on Mongolia as an emerging market, and we decided to take this on."
The firm's burgeoning connections with Mongolian corporates originates with Washington DC corporate partner Ayaz Shaikh, who has spent a lot of time in the emerging market in recent years.

Source:http://www.legalweek.com/
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