Goltsblat BLP Successfully Challenges a Fine of USD 16 m Imposed by the FAS on Freight One


The Competition and Antitrust team of Goltsblat BLP, the Russian practice of the international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), has won a multi-million litigation in the court of appeal for Freight One, which together with other railway operators, Russian Railways and the authorities of the Kemerovo Region, had been accused by the antimonopoly body of signing an anticompetitive agreement to transport coal.  

In 2013, the Russian FAS concluded that the above-mentioned parties had entered into anticompetitive collusion in transporting coal from Kuzbas and imposed fines totalling more than RUB 2 bn on its participants. Freight One, a client of Goltsblat BLP, became burdened with sanctions amounting to more than USD 16 m

The Moscow Arbitration Court and Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal considered the case for almost two years. The litigation involved dealing with the findings of three economic studies, referring to facts established during previous litigations and requesting evidence with the assistance of the court. 

Thanks to the clear and consistent defence strategy elaborated and implemented by both Goltsblat BLP lawyers and other applicants under the case, the court recognised the FAS ruling as invalid and cancelled all resolutions regarding fines imposed on the pa mrties accused of anticompetitive collusion. 

The Goltsblat BLP team, led by Vitaly Dianov, Head of Group, Competition and Antitrust, Cand.Sc. (Law), also included Andrey Neminuschiy and Artiom Ermoshin. Nikolay Voznesenskiy, Partner of the Goltsblat BLP Competition and Antitrust Practice, and Аnton Sitnikov, Partner and Head of the Goltsblat BLP Corporate Practice, managed the project for challenging the ruling brought against Freight One from a strategic perspective.

Anton Sitnikov, Partner, Head of Corporate Practice at Goltsblat BLP: “It was a challenging and precedental project. The successful outcome on this case was achieved thanks to the expertise and experience of our competition and antitrust team, which managed to elaborate a successful defence strategy.”

Nikolay Voznesenskiy, Partner of Goltsblat BLP Competition and Antitrust Practice: “This win is further confirmation of the professionalism of the Goltsblat BLP competition and antitrust team, which, for several years running, has been ranked in the 1st Tier by Legal 500 and ranked top by the leading international legal guide Chambers Europe; it is also included in the so-called Elite Group of Global Competition Review. Furthermore, we would like to note the objectivity demonstrated by the court in this litigation.”

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