Sayenko Kharenko has defended Auchan in the Supreme Court case against the Asset Recovery and Management Agency
Sayenko Kharenko litigation team has won a high-profile case against the Asset Recovery and Management Agency if Ukraine (the “ARMA”) in the Supreme Court. The case brought by contested an unlawful sale of the land plots owned by Auchan and Ceetrus.
Sayenko Kharenko attorneys brought sufficient arguments against ARMA showing it acted in violation of the law.
They also questioned the power of the ARMA being the state authority to sell assets transferred to its possession without a direct permission of the owner or a court. For this reason and due to the inter-jurisdictional nature of the dispute, the case was referred to the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court.
As a result of its consideration, the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court has created a precedent by issuing a Resolution emphasizing that the ARMA cannot sell assets transferred to it in absence of a separate court ruling ordering such sale. Accordingly, the ARMA has adopted the decision on sale of the land plot owned by Auchan unlawfully and without а proper authority.
Sayenko Kharenko counsel Oleksiy Koltok comments: “This is a landmark decision. It does not only protect our client, but also opens a possibility to gain justice for other companies and individuals illegally deprived of their property. We welcome the Supreme Court’s approach in establishing good practice in this category of cases.”
Judicial defence of Auchan and Ceetrus was performed by counsel Oleksiy Koltok, senior associate Sergiy Protyven, associates Vadym Slesarchuk, Zhanna Zayets, Olena Solonska and junior associate Vladyslav Shtager under the general supervision of partner Sergey Pogrebnoy. Criminal defence in the project was provided by counsel Zlata Simonenko and associate Yevhen Miroshnykov led by partner Sergiy Smirnov.
General information. In 2013, Auchan group of companies and Ceetrus acquired corporate rights of “S.P.T.” LLC and “ABC Technology” LLC that owned 26.8 hectares of land in the Odessa Region. In April 2019, the right to manage the land plots was transferred to the ARMA and in July, the land plots were sold to a relatively unknown Ukrainian company only for 4 per cent of their market value.
Auchan planned to develop Les Vignes retail park on the land plots including of Auchan hypermarket, gallery of boutiques (4,000 m2), retail park (42,000 m2), shopping and entertainment mall (35,000 m2).
Auchan Retail Ukraine has been operating in Ukraine since 2008 and has 34 stores of various formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets and Pick-up-Points around the apartment buildings) in nine cities. It has been also developing e-commerce.
Ceetrus is an international developer of shopping malls and retail parks in the country. As of the end of 2020, the company operated seven shopping galleries within the Auchan Shopping Mall in Kyiv and Lviv, Auchan Rive Gauche Shopping Mall and Retail Park Petrivka in Kyiv.