Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Accent Delight International Ltd. v. Sotheby's and Sotheby's, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 3, 2020

ACCENT DELIGHT INTERNATIONAL LTD. and XITRANS FINANCE LTD., Plaintiffs,
v.
SOTHEBY'S and SOTHEBY'S, INC., Defendants.

          LETTER OF REQUEST FOR INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO THE HAGUE CONVENTION OF 18 MARCH 1970 ON THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE ABROAD IN CIVIL MATTERS TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE FROM JAMES GALLON

          HON. JESSE M. FURMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In conformity with Articles 1 and 3 of the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters (the “Hague Convention”), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York respectfully requests international judicial assistance to obtain evidence from James Gallon (“Mr. Gallon”) for use in the above-captioned civil proceeding currently pending before this Court (the “U.S. Action” or “Action”). The evidence is sought by Defendants in the Action, Sotheby's and Sotheby's, Inc. (together, “Sotheby's”). As set forth below, Mr. Gallon is uniquely positioned to provide evidence relevant to this Action.

         The assistance requested is for the appropriate judicial authority of the United Kingdom to compel the appearance of Mr. Gallon to produce documents and give oral testimony relevant to the claims and defenses in the Action. The evidence is intended for use at trial.

         1. Sender/Requesting Judicial Authority:

The Honorable Jesse M. Furman United States District Court for the Southern District of New York 40 Centre Street, Room 2202 New York, New York 10007 United States of America

         2. Central Authority of the Requested State:

The Senior Master Foreign Process Section Room E16 Queen's Bench Division Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2A 2LL, England, United Kingdom

         3. Persons to Whom the Executed Request Is to be Returned:

Marcus A. Asner Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 250 West 55th Street New York, New York 10019 United States of America Email: Marcus.Asner@arnoldporter.com Tel: 212 836 7222 Fax: 212 836 8689

         4. Names and Addresses of the Parties and Their Representatives:

         a. Plaintiffs:

Accent Delight International Ltd. Jipfa Building, 3rd Floor 142 Main Street Road Town, Tortola British Virgin Islands
Xitrans Finance Ltd. Akara Building 24 De Castro Street Wickhams Cay 1 Road Town Tortola British Virgin Islands
Counsel for Plaintiffs: Daniel Kornstein Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP 600 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor New York, New York 10020 Email: dkornstein@ecbalaw.com Tel: 212 763 5000

         b. Defendants:

Sotheby's 1334 York Avenue New York, New York 10021 United States of America
Sotheby's, Inc. 1334 York Avenue New York, New York 10021 United States of America
Counsel for Defendants: Marcus A. Asner Sara L. Shudofsky Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 250 West 55th Street New York, New York 10019 Email: Marcus.Asner@arnoldporter.com Email: Sara.Shudofsky@arnoldporter.com Tel: 212 836 7222
Jane Wessel Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (UK) LLP Tower 42 25 Old Broad Street London EC2N 1HQ United Kingdom Email: Jane.Wessel@arnoldporter.com Tel: (0)20 7786 6260

         5. Nature of the Proceedings and Summary of the Facts:

         The U.S. Action is a civil lawsuit in which Plaintiffs allege that Sotheby's aided and abetted an alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty committed by Yves Bouvier (“Mr. Bouvier”), and breached its contractual obligations to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs' principal is Dmitry Rybolovlev (“Mr. Rybolovlev”). Plaintiffs are companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands; they are owned by trusts settled by and for the benefit of members of the family of Mr. Rybolovlev. Plaintiffs allege that Plaintiffs and Mr. Bouvier agreed (at a time and in a manner unspecified by Plaintiffs) that Mr. Bouvier would act as their agent to acquire art masterworks on their behalf. Mr. Bouvier allegedly purchased 38 art masterworks from sellers, resold the works to Plaintiffs at markups, and pocketed the difference for himself. Plaintiffs assert that Sotheby's aided and abetted Mr. Bouvier's alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty with respect to 14 of the art masterworks, 12 of which Mr. Bouvier acquired from third parties in private sales facilitated by Sotheby's entities before he sold them to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that Sotheby's breached a Tolling Agreement with Plaintiffs. A copy of the Amended Complaint and Sotheby's Answer in the U.S. Action are attached hereto as Exhibits 1 and 2.

         Sotheby's recently learned that, since April 2016, and unbeknownst to Sotheby's at the time, Plaintiffs have possessed and made use of Sotheby's attorney work product and attorney-client communications (the “Privileged Materials” or “Materials”). See Sotheby's Letter-Motion for Conference Regarding Need for Discovery, Dkt. 75 (Aug. 26, 2019), attached hereto as Exhibit 4 (“Sotheby's Letter-Motion”). The Privileged Materials consist of two documents. The first document is an outline that Sotheby's counsel, Arnold & Porter, created for an interview it conducted with Samuel Valette, an employee of Sotheby's UK who served as the primary contact between Sotheby's UK and Mr. Bouvier. The second document summarizes information gathered concerning the artworks at issue in the U.S. Action. On October 21, 2016, a representative of Plaintiffs, Simona Fedele (“Ms. Fedele”), sent copies of the Privileged Materials to Brian Cattell and Sergey Chernitsyn, as well as to Plaintiffs' representative, Tetiana Bersheda (“Ms. Bersheda”). See Id. at Ex. A. In the October 21, 2016 cover email from Ms. Fedele to Ms. Bersheda and others, Ms. Fedele refers to proceedings (the “1782 proceedings”) in this Court in which Plaintiffs sought documents from Sotheby's for use in foreign litigation against Mr. Bouvier concerning the same transactions at issue in the U.S. Action. See id.

         In a filing in this Action, Plaintiffs represented that they obtained copies of the Privileged Materials from Mr. Gallon, who purportedly received the Materials by mistake in April 2016 during his stay at the Westbury Hotel in London and thereafter traveled to Monaco and gave them to an employee of one of Mr. Rybolovlev's entities. See Plaintiffs' Letter to Court Regarding Sotheby's Letter-Motion, Dkt. 76 (Aug. 27, 2019), attached hereto as Exhibit 5 (“Plaintiffs' Letter to Court”). In the course of discovery in the U.S. Action, Plaintiffs have identified Mr. Gallon as a person with “knowledge or information concerning [Plaintiffs'] initial receipt, and [Plaintiffs'] transmittal, review, discussion, and/or use, of the Privileged [Materials].” Plaintiffs' Responses and Objections to Sotheby's First Set of Interrogatories at 7, attached hereto as Exhibit 3 (“Plaintiffs' Responses to Interrogatories”).[1] Mr. Gallon is therefore uniquely situated to provide information regarding whether Plaintiffs obtained the Privileged Materials unlawfully and whether they have used or are using the Privileged Materials in connection with the U.S. Action.

         6. Evidence to be Obtained and Purpose:

         a. Evidence to be Obtained:

         Sotheby's seeks oral testimony and documents from Mr. Gallon. Specifically, Mr. Gallon, who obtained and turned over to Plaintiffs privileged information belonging to Sotheby's, is in unique possession of evidence relevant to Plaintiffs' allegations and Sotheby's defenses thereto. In addition, Sotheby's seeks evidence in order to determine whether Plaintiffs' acquisition of the Privileged Materials, or their use of the Privileged Materials, has undermined the integrity of the U.S. Action or other proceedings before this Court. Appendix A sets forth the topics of oral testimony sought from Mr. Gallon.

         b. The Evidence Is Sought for Use at Trial:

         This Court understands that the powers of the English High Court of Justice to assist this Court's efforts to obtain evidence in the United Kingdom are listed in Section 2 of the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975, and that such assistance may not be provided when the evidence is sought only to be used for pre-trial purposes. This Court finds that the evidence requested is not being sought for mere pre-trial discovery, but rather is being sought to be used as proof in the actual trial in these proceedings.

         c. Purpose of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.