Benyatov (claimant/appellant) v Credit Suisse (Securities) Europe Limited (defendant/respondent)

Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 October 2022

By Appellant’s Notice filed on 11/3/22, the Claimant (C) appeals from the order of Freedman J dated 25/2/22 dismissing C’s claim.

The C is a US citizen based in London and was a managing director of the Defendant (D) bank.

The claim arose from C’s arrest for espionage in Bucharest in November 2006 while working for D, his incarceration for 56 days, his having to stay in Bucharest till Aug 2007 and his subsequent trial and conviction in absentia in 2013 and sentence to 10 years of imprisonment. His appeal was allowed in part and the sentence was varied to 4.5 years. C went to live in US and was made redundant in June 2015; he has been unable to secure employment.

C claimed career loss of earnings under an indemnity to be implied into his contract of employment. D challenged this and said that this went beyond scope of any indemnity that could be implied into contract of employment.

In alternative, C claimed damages for D’s breaches of a duty of care in tort to protect him from criminal conviction in the performance of his duties for D in failing to assess the risks for C in Romania which led to his conviction.

The amount of the claims was about £66M.

The judge found that a duty of care in tort not to expose C to risk of criminal conviction in performance of his duties for D may arise and must be considered on the facts. But the judge held that the duty did not arise in this instance and that the tort claim was time barred in any event.

The judge found that Romania was not a high -risk country, the particular transactions in issue were not high risk, the warning red flags were not to be known by D or investigated and that risk assessment was not standard.

The judge found that D had not conducted a risk assessment but this was not a breach of duty as D had found that was no requirement for a general risk assessment.

The judge found that there was no implied contractual duty to indemnity for loss of earnings.

View hearing:

Day 1

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Part 2

Day 2

Part 1

Part 2

Day 3

Part 1

Part 2