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(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG won a lawsuit brought by a Georgian-born diplomat-turned-oil-trader in a London court over the sale of his stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oil field.
U.K. High Court Judge Peter Smith dismissed a claim on Friday by Zaur Leshkasheli’s company Rosserlane Consultants Ltd. against the Zurich-based bank.
“Whilst I find there were failings on the part of the bank none of them in my view would have led to any loss for the reasons I have set out,” Smith said in his opinion. Rosserlane won on a point of liability that the bank had fought, which the judge said didn’t change his overall conclusion.
Majority owner Leshkasheli had alleged the Swiss bank ignored or frustrated interest from potential buyers in Asia, Russia and the Middle East and forced a sale of the Kyurovdag oil field in 2008. Leshkasheli expected to pocket more than $500 million when he decided to sell his stake in the field, according to his lawsuit.
Credit Suisse welcomed the ruling, which “conclusively dismissed the case against it.” A spokeswoman for Leshkasheli declined to immediately comment.
Smith criticized Peter Firmin, a former bank employee who worked at Credit Suisse’s fixed-income division, saying in the ruling he was “an unsatisfactory witness.” Firmin didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The case is Rosserlane Consultants Ltd. and Swinbrook Developments Ltd. v. Credit Suisse International, case no. 12-3108, U.K. High Court of Justice, Chancery Division.
--With assistance from Andy Hoffman in Geneva.
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