How much does it cost to sue someone?

Well, OK, maybe it’s not just any old someone.

Maybe the question is: how much does it cost to sue a Russian oligarch? If you, too, are a Russian oligarch?

I give you this, from the New York Times, in case you’re worrying over your legal bills: Russian Oligarch and Sharp Critic of Putin Dies in Britain.

Here are the pertinent paragraphs:

He [Boris A. Berezovsky] was 67 and lived outside of London, where last year he lost what was billed as the the world’s largest private lawsuit in history — an epic battle with another Russian oligarch, Roman A. Abramovich, in which legal and other costs rose to about $250 million.

Recent news reports described how Mr. Berezovsky had begun to sell personal assets, including a yacht and a painting by Warhol, “Red Lenin,” to pay debts related to the lawsuit.” The lawsuit, in which Mr. Berezovsky had brought a $5.1 billion claim against Mr. Abhramovich in a dispute over the sale of shares in the Russian oil company Sibneft and other assets, ended in a spectacular defeat.

In her ruling, the judge, Elizabeth Gloster, called Mr. Berezovsky, an “unimpressive and inherently unreliable witness” and at times a dishonest one. By contrast, the judge said Mr. Abramovich had been “a truthful, and on the whole, reliable witness.”

I repeat the invaluable adage from one of the best lawyers I know: “Anybody can sue anybody for anything,” with this footnote: “But anybody can spend an awful lot of money and get himself called ‘inherently unreliable’ and get his case dismissed, too.”



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