Legal Business

Over a barrel


A recent victory in The Hague has green-lit a record-breaking $100bn claim by Yukos’ majority shareholders against the Russian Federation. Legal Business investigates an arbitration that could change the face of international investment forever

On 31 May 2005, Mikhail Khodorkovsky shuffled into the spartan confines of Moscow’s Meshchansky courtroom for the last time, his hands and feet bound in shackles. Alongside co-defendant Platon Lebedev, he was placed inside a steel cage, flanked either side by armed militsiya guards. He was not facing trial for murder or some other violent crime, but for alleged fraud and tax evasion as part of a wider case against Russian oil giant Yukos, of which he was CEO.