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MSU College of Law



December 9, 2011


MSU Law Professor Testifies in $5 Billion Russian Oligarch Case

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law Professor Bruce W. Bean presented expert testimony in London’s High Court of Justice in the largest private lawsuit ever filed in England.

The case involves a $5 billion lawsuit by Boris Berezovsky, a political exile who lives in London since he fled Russia in 2000, against Roman Abramovich, confidant of Vladimir Putin and owner of the world’s largest private yacht and the Chelsea soccer team.

Professor Bean, who practiced law in Moscow from 1995 to 2003, was asked in late July to prepare an expert report on business practices in the country during the time period. He wrote the report with assistance from Emma Haas, a 2008 MSU Law graduate, and Yelena Archiyan, who currently is in her third year at the Law College. Bean testified as the final witness in the 10-week trial in late November. The case, which has attracted widespread interest both in England and Russia, is expected to be decided in April 2012.

Five years ago, Bean submitted an expert report in a London Court of International Arbitration proceeding by shareholders of Yukos Oil against Sibneft Oil Co., which was controlled by Roman Abramovich. The case was the world’s largest private arbitration to date.

Professor Bruce W. Bean is director of the LL.M. for Foreign-Educated Lawyers Program at MSU Law.  He was managing partner of Coudert Brothers’ Moscow office, and later head of corporate and foreign direct investment for Clifford Chance–Moscow, then the world’s largest international law firm. He was active with the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, chair of United Way Moscow and the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, and an original founder of the Russian Institute of Corporate Law & Governance. He remains an opinion leader on Russian policy matters. Professor Bean has made innumerable speeches, written dozens of articles, and been interviewed by leading news outlets, principally on topics related to doing business in Russia, Russia’s political economy, and corruption and global corporate governance.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

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