Dispute over millions has 2 Israeli businessmen in NY court

One businessman accuses the other of owing him $270m., in accordance with a signed agreement for a stake in a Russian coal-producing organization.

By JONNY PAUL
February 14, 2011 06:42
1 minute read.
A gavel strikes at the issuing of justice

311_gavel. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

LONDON – The case of two Israeli businessmen and a dispute over $270 million will reach the Supreme Court of the State of New York on Wednesday, with one party questioning the court’s jurisdiction and demanding proceedings take place in Israel so as to avoid the American court.

The court will hear an anti-suit injunction – a court order that prevents an opposing party from commencing or continuing a proceeding in another jurisdiction – issued by Michael Cherney, originally from Uzbekistan and now living in Israel, against Alexander Gliklad, a Ukrainian-born Israeli living in New York.

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Cherney is attempting to take legal action against Gliklad to counter a pending process in New York that Gliklad brought against him in July 2009.

Gliklad accuses Cherney of owing him $270m., in accordance with a signed agreement for a stake in the Russian coal-producing organization Kuzbassrazrezugol, a former state enterprise privatized in the early 1990s.

In response to the suit filed against him, Cherney filed a writ in which he claimed he had given the money to Gliklad and that he, Cherney, was now the one owed the $270m. This is disputed by Gliklad, who has pointed out that if Cherney were owed the money he claims, he would have sought to enforce the debt at least once since it was signed in 2003.

Cherney also claims he mistakenly signed the agreement with Gliklad in the wrong place as the borrower, even though it was in Russian, his mother tongue.

Cherney also sought a dismissal of the case, claiming forum non conveniens – where courts can refuse to take jurisdiction over matters where there is a more appropriate forum available to the parties. He maintains he has no connection to New York, despite his consent to its jurisdiction in the agreement.

He has also been accused of changing a clause in the agreement in order to show that he did not consent to jurisdiction in New York, while also accusing Gliklad of forging a statement, though it was done under the supervision of the international law firm Winston and Strawn LLP.


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