The Art Newspaper covers the judgment of a Singapore court in the case that seems like it will never go away. That case is, of course, Dmitiry Rybolovlev’s long-running vendetta against Yves Bouvier, the intermediary in Rybolovlev’s art transactions who benefitted enormously from the Oligarch’s overly-trusting nature.
Since discovering that he had made deals through Bouvier that were over market prices, Rybolovlev has tried a number of tactics to put Bouvier in some form of jeopardy. Rybolovlev’s attacks have been made in Monaco, France, the press in the UK and US and crucially in Singapore where Bouvier is a resident as well.
So far, Rybolovlev’s strategy has worked no better in the courts than it did in the art market. This week, a Singaporean court ruled that business dealings between the two men are governed by Swiss law and should be sorted out in a Swiss court.
Here’s The Art Newspaper’s summary:
The Singapore court stresses that both parties signed four contracts for the sale of four paintings from 2003 to 2006, which were exclusively governed by Swiss law, and nothing apparently “changed when they went into an oral agreement” for the 30 or so transactions that followed. Their deals took place in Geneva and payments were made through Swiss banks accounts. Until 2009, both men were also based in Switzerland. […] The appeals court therefore decided that “Switzerland is clearly and distinctly a more appropriate forum than Singapore for the determination of their dispute”, and said it had “no hesitation” in rejecting the argument that Rybolovlev would be deprived of justice if he filed his lawsuit in Geneva. The court of appeal also closed the door to a transfer of the case to Singapore’s own International Commercial Court.
Yves Bouvier clears legal hurdle in Singapore (The Art Newspaper)