Marina Hadjisoteriou is a Partner and the Head of the Litigation Department in Limassol.
Her main areas of practice are Asset Recovery, Cross-Border Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration.
Marina has consistently been recommended in the latest editions of the Legal 500 EMEA as a specialist in her field. In 2019 she was listed as one of the ‘Leading Individuals’ for Dispute Resolution. She ‘handles complex disputes across multiple jurisdictions well’ (Legal 500 EMEA 2019), ‘crafts a legal case like a spider crafts his web’ (Legal 500 EMEA 2018) and ‘comprehends complex matters quickly and explains things well to clients’ (Legal 500 EMEA 2017). ‘Intelligent’ Marina has also been recommended for EU and Competition (Legal 500 EMEA 2019).
She regularly applies and is successful in obtaining freezing injunctions and disclosure orders in aid of foreign court or arbitral proceedings.
She has successfully represented parties in disputes arising out of breaches of shareholder agreements, fraud, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duties. She has also successfully filed and defended liquidation applications by creditors or by minority shareholders alleging oppression.
She is also vastly experienced in obtaining orders for the recognition of foreign court judgments and arbitral awards in Cyprus.
Her clients include multi-nationals, banks and high-net-worth individuals.
Marina is also a member of the Cypriot charitable organisation Sophia Foundation for Children. She visited the projects of the Foundation in Kenya in February 2017 along with four other volunteers. The volunteers did voluntary work with the guidance of the people in charge. They then ascended Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest mountain in Africa. The whole mission had the scope to create awareness and to promote the work of the Foundation in its struggle to support children in need, both in Cyprus and in Kenya, as well as the concept of volunteering in general.
She is also one of the legal advisors of the Foundation on a pro-bono basis.
Was instructed by a company which is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission to provide investment services and successfully opposed a world-wide freezing order in the amount of USD $2 million issued against it by a Cypriot Court. The freezing order was issued following an application of a Romanian former client of the company, in aid of Court proceedings filed in Romania against the company. A very important point of law was also raised which was whether an interim order issued by the Cyprus Court in aid of the Romanian Court proceedings could cover assets which are outside of Cyprus. The Court held that it could not. It is noted that jurisdictional matters arose both in the Cypriot and the Romanian procedures with the Cypriot company alleging that the Cypriot Court had jurisdiction to hear the main case and not the Romanian Court, due to a contract between the parties stipulating that Cypriot law would be the governing law and that any dispute should be heard by the Courts of Cyprus. However, the position of the Romanian former client of the company was different as he decided to file the case in Romania alleging that he was a “consumer” and thus was entitled to commence proceedings in his place of residence, on the basis of the relevant EU Regulation. The Romanian Court, decided to send preliminary questions to the ECJ and as a result the proceedings before the Romanian Court were stayed, pending the ruling of the ECJ. One of these questions was whether the high volume of profitable transactions in a short period of time could be a relevant criterion to determine whether the respective person falls within the definition of a consumer or not.
Was part of the team that filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Cyprus, on behalf of the substantial German bank Commerzbank, against a first instance judgment discharging a worldwide freezing injunction that had been issued in favour of Commerzbank. The injunction had been issued in support of arbitration proceedings filed by Commerzbank in Frankfurt against, inter alia, a Cyprus company. This Cyprus company had guaranteed the payment obligations of the buyers of a Ukrainian Bank. Commerzbank was the seller in the said transaction and was alleging that the purchase consideration (exceeding USD 120 million) was due to it. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and reissued the freezing injunction that had been discharged. It also issued an extensive disclosure of assets order against the Cyprus company. In its judgment the Supreme Court made important observations on the principles relating to the rights of pledgees and more generally on how the first instance judges should exercise their discretion when examining applications for freezing injunctions. (the Supreme Court judgment is available in Greek at this link: http://cylaw.org/cgi-bin/open.pl?file=apofaseis/aad/meros_1/2015/1-201502-E6-2014.htm&qstring=commerzbank)
Has acted on behalf a Ukrainian client in relation to a dispute against her former spouse. The client was seeking a percentage of the shares held by her former spouse in two Cypriot companies through a BVI company. The main activity of the said companies is the resale of components for railway machines and cars that are produced in Ukraine. The respondents (the former spouse, the two Cypriot companies and the BVI company) unsuccessfully challenged the jurisdiction of the Cyprus courts to try the matter. In addition, the respondents attempted to have the initiating application that was filed in Cyprus set aside, on grounds of procedural invalidity in relation to the filing of the application and service on the respondents residing outside the jurisdiction of the Court. This was dismissed by the Court. Following a hearing, freezing orders (that had not been issued on an ex-parte basis) prohibiting the disposal of assets of the former spouse and the companies involved were successfully issued. As a result, the parties reached a settlement in relation to their marital property both in Ukraine and Cyprus.
Has applied to the Cyprus Courts on behalf of international clients for the liquidation of companies on the basis that the companies were unable to pay their debts. One of these clients was one of the largest Dutch banks which had provided a loan in the amount of USD $70 million to a Cypriot company. A settlement was reached between the parties following the filing of the liquidation application against the debtor Cypriot company.
Was part of an international team handling a high profile cross border action in relation to a dispute between the owners of a substantial Russian oil refinery in Krasnodar, Russia which was valued in 2016 at approximately USD $600 million. A number of cases in Cyprus and the BVI had been filed as a result of this dispute.
Has successfully represented one of the biggest suppliers of Russian coal to the international market that delivers coal to more than 40 countries word-wide in its application for the recognition and registration in Cyprus of a foreign arbitral award issued by the London Maritime Arbitrators Association in its favour and against a Cypriot company.
Has successfully represented the Russian subsidiary of an international law firm in a liquidation application it has filed against a Cypriot company. The liquidation application was filed due to the failure of the Cypriot company to settle invoices for legal services provided in relation to the recording of transfer of rights on trademarks (of a well-known brand of Vodka) in its favour in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Represented an Investment Firm in a high-value action for alleged fraud and obtaining money by false representations. The allegation was that the investment firm induced an investor to make trades that were manipulated, causing a loss to the investor. We successfully defended our clients who were acquitted of all counts after a substantive hearing.
Represented an investor in civil proceedings for the recovery of assets against an investment firm on the grounds of fraud and misappropriation of funds. We successfully obtained an interim freezing order against the investment firm, including its bank accounts and personal funds of its director who was personally involved. We also successfully obtained summary judgment in our client’s favour.
Represented a client in relation to an action for multi-million-dollar damages on the basis of fraud and conspiracy to defraud. The matter involved coordination across a number of jurisdictions to protect the client’s ability to seek redress. We successfully obtained world-wide freezing orders against the defendants as well as disclosure orders against 3rd parties involved.