Global Asset Tracing Spurs Litigation Against Russian Oligarch

Background & Challenges

A leading law firm was acting on behalf of a Europe-based party who was contemplating litigation against a Moscow-based oligarch. BDO was asked by the client to undertake a cross-border asset tracing exercise in order to assist in its decision as to whether to pursue litigation against the oligarch. In addition to likely assets in Russia, the subject of our investigation was known to have a Luxembourg-registered company which might be involved in holding assets.


BDO conducted asset tracing activities spanning 10 European jurisdictions, and identified several, high-value assets in Russia that were previously unknown to our client. Some of the most significant assets, however, were identified in Western Europe. These assets included: a major stake in a construction company run by a close business associate, an Isle of Man-registered private jet, and a mansion in the south of France with an estimated market value at over 20 million Euro. Additionally, an individual with the same name as the oligarch was also identified as the registered occupant of a large real estate property in Western Europe. To confirm this property was owned by the subject and not an individual by the same name, BDO tracked flight data for the subject’s private jet, and was able to show that his plane had landed at the airport closest to the property in question on several occasions in the years prior.

Client Impact

Based on BDO’s findings, the client made the decision to move ahead with litigation against the oligarch.