An SFO investigation, in alleged collusion with Dechert law firm, could see millions awarded to mining company Eurasian Resources Group after an expected High Court ruling. This was reported by portugalnews. The court found that serious errors on both sides led to unnecessary financial costs for the metallurgical giant.
In his decision, Judge David Waxman emphasized that without the SFO’s misconduct, the criminal investigation into ERG would never have been opened. According to Waxman, the result of the SFO’s actions was an extra burden on ENRC, which led to financial costs and loss of management time.
For reference. Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), is an international conglomerate and prominent player in global mineral resource extraction and processing sector. ERG operates with integrated capabilities encompassing mining, processing, energy production and logistics with majority assets located in Kazakhstan. ERG was once listed on both London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) respectively as Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.
ERG holds numerous accolades that distinguish it as the world’s top producer of ferrochrome by volume; largest iron ore mining and processing enterprise in Kazakhstan; one of the key exporters; as well as ranking ninth-largest global producer of industrial alumina by volume production.
ERG makes a major impactful contribution to Kazakhstan’s economic development with operations accounting for approximately three percent (3% in 2009) of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The SFO investigation into ERG began in 2013 and was closed ten years later in August. The reason for the closure was “insufficient admissible evidence for prosecution”, according to the SFO.
The investigation raised questions about the actions of Neil Gerrard, a former partner at law firm Dechert who was appointed to advise ERG.
Summing up his judgment last year, Judge Waxman said the SFO had breached its duties. This was that the service accepted information from Gerrard that was “manifestly unauthorized” and “contrary to the interests of his client”.
ERG sought more than £21 million in compensation for legal fees and unnecessary expenses, as well as lost management time, during the trial in March.
Law firm Dechert has already paid ERG around £9 million for work and expenses. This means the total amount ERG has not received is almost £12 million, according to the court’s decision.