After Crimea’s annexation, many banks refused to return deposits to their Crimean owners on the grounds of lost databases, contracts and evidence of the money paid in.
In the spring of 2014 a client turned to ILF for help in recovering deposits worth UAH 800,000 from PrivatBank. The only way to return the money was through court. The situation was compounded by the current case law regarding Crimean deposits, which was starting to favor the bank. It had been the same for us, until ILF achieved success at the cassation instance. However, the story wasn’t over yet, as the case was sent back for re-examination, which took the court another year. In February 2016 ILF lawyers received the writ of execution and contacted the execution service to finally return the money to the client.
Execution officers were using various excuses to avoid taking steps against PrivatBank, until we had their actions recognized as unlawful in court. Nevertheless, at this stage the case was transferred to Dnipro and added to court proceedings on hundreds of other PrivatBank clients. The bank secured several court decisions that banned state execution officers from collecting money from its accounts and thus dragged the case out for another year.
Said prohibition concerned only the state execution service of Dnipro. In accordance with the law, the creditor may choose which execution service located in Ukraine to turn to. So we changed our strategy - we took the writ execution and contacted another city’s execution service. As a result, the whole sum was transferred from PrivatBank to the client's account within a month.
Defense was handled by ILF partner Olexiy Kharytonov and lawyer Andrey Poddymai.