Sex, lies and videotape: Novoship at centre of London court intrigue

A complex court case is underway in London involving Novorossiysk Shipping Company (Novoship), part of the Sovcomflot shipping empire.

The Russian shipping giant is suing a debt collector and his employer for allegedly swapping its confidential documents for a sex tape “related to” Floridian oil billionaire Harry Sargeant III, according to the Financial Times.

Novoship is seeking up to $91m from Burford Capital and one of its senior executives, Daniel Hall, after he allegedly traded sensitive files for the video.

At the same time, Novoship is getting sued by a Venezuelan shipping tycoon, Wilmar Ruperti for allegedly breaching a settlement deal. Ruperti runs the tanker company, Suramericana de Transportes de Petróleo.

Novoship has blamed Burford and Hall for the breach and wants Burford to pay if the Ruperti suit succeeds.

The case continues at the High Court in London.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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