Court orders Credit Suisse (Bermuda) to produce documents

  • Narinder Hargun, the Chief Justice

    Narinder Hargun, the Chief Justice

Narinder Hargun, the Chief Justice, has granted a plaintiffs’ application for specific discovery, ordering that a Bermuda-based life insurer provide documents as part of a civil case involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr Hargun ruled that a current officer of Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) Ltd must, by February 25, file and serve an affidavit verifying the discovery of documents by the defendant.

The affidavit must confirm that a range of documents in the possession custody and power of CS Life have been searched for and discovered, as well as confirm that the defendant has requested documents from the bank, Credit Suisse AG, which the defendants assert managed the assets at issue in the proceedings.

The court heard expert evidence regarding whether the defendant is entitled to obtain documents under Article 400 of the Swiss Code of Obligations. It found that, subject only to the issue of relevance, that the defendant has the power to call the bank to provide, and the bank has an obligation to provide, all documents within the categories set out in the court order.

The plaintiffs’ claim against CS Life is for losses suffered by two unit-linked life insurance policies. The plaintiffs are a mix of policyholders and ultimate beneficiaries of the proceeds of the policies.

The plaintiffs allege that they entrusted $755 million to CS Life by way of lump-sum insurance premiums. The policy assets were invested in accounts with bank Credit Suisse AG, but in 2015 the plaintiffs discovered losses to the policy assets that they allege are in the region of $400 million.

The ruling follows a two-day hearing held on January 21 and 22.

Patrice Lescaudron, formerly a credit adviser at the bank, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a Geneva court in February 2018. The court found that he was guilty of serious fraud and forgery in his handling of former clients, including former Georgia Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Russian oligarch Vitaly Malkin.

The Swiss court said that Mr Lescaudron, 54 at the time of sentencing, had made a personal gain of some $30 million.

Mr Ivanishvili was among the plaintiffs in the Bermuda matter heard last month. • It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers

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