Menelaos Kyprianou

MENELAOS KYPRIANOU

MANAGING PARTNER

Nicosia
menelaos@kyprianou.com.cy Telephone: +357.22.44.77.77

SPECIALIZATION:
Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

EDUCATION:
LLB (Hons), Barrister-at-Law

Menelaos Kyprianou is the managing partner of the law firm of Michael Kyprianou & Co. LLC.

Menelaos Kyprianou obtained an LLB (Hons) degree from Nottingham University, UK in 1993. As a student at Nottingham University, Menelaos was awarded two prizes:

  • The JC Smith prize in the Law of Evidence awarded to the student who obtains the highest mark in the subject of Evidence; and
  • The Law Graduates Association Moot prize awarded to the student who wins the moot competition. Menelaos was adjudged the winner in the final round of the competition by Sir Igor Judge who is now the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

After his studies at Nottingham University Menelaos followed the Bar Vocational Course and became a Barrister–at–Law of The Middle Temple in 1994.

Relevant experience:

Menelaos is a reputable litigator who has earned the recognition and respect of the legal community.

He specialises in the field of litigation with a cross border element. UK and Russian leading law firms regularly refer work to him. As far back as 2005, The European Legal 500 Directory described him as “a reputable litigator who has handled complex international cases”. In its 2015 Edition the European Legal 500 Directory described him as "an outstanding lawyer" while according to the Chambers Europe 2015 directory Menelaos is "relied on by clients for his excellent support in corporate disputes".

Some of the most important cases he has been involved in are the following:

  • On a number of occasions convinced the Cyprus Courts to issue world-wide mareva orders and has liaised with law firms abroad for their enforcement.
  • Represented a Forbes listed Russian businessman in relation to the resolution of a dispute arising from a joint venture valued at USD 15 billion.
  • Has been called as an expert witness on Cyprus Financial Law in arbitration proceedings before the Moscow Chamber of Commerce.
  • Defended a very substantial company beneficially owned by Russians in claims that have been filed and which relate to an aborted take over bid.
  • Was one of the first lawyers in Cyprus to convince a Cyprus Court to issue a disclosure order against a local bank, not a party to the pending proceedings. The Cyprus Court was persuaded to apply English Common Law Principles (Norwich Pharmacal and cases that followed it) in this international fraud case. With the disclosure the client was able to trace assets he had been defrauded of.
  • Was the lead advocate and had the case management in three related LCIA arbitrations concerning a dispute arising out of a Share Sale Agreement concerning the Kazakhstan port authorities for a consideration in the region of USD 300 million. In these arbitrations Menelaos joined forces with a barrister from one of the UK’s leading set of chambers.
  • Applied successfully to the Cyprus Court to obtain interim relief in aid of arbitration proceedings filed in the LCIA concerning a Ukrainian airline company. The relief was obtained on the basis of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 and the relevant principles formulated in the ECJ case of Van Uden. The interim order prohibited the transfer of shares, the alienation of assets and the amendment of a Shareholders Agreement pending the determination of the said LCIA proceedings.
  • Advised the international firm of Alvarez and Marsal in relation to the latter’s appointment as independent experts by the Central Bank of Cyprus to carry out an investigation on the events which led the two largest banks in Cyprus to require state assistance.
  • On behalf of a major German bank obtained an anti-suit injunction prohibiting a Cypriot entity of Russian interests from proceeding with a claim against it in the Russian courts.
  • Was heavily involved in one of the most substantial disputes before the Cyprus courts in 2014. This involved enforcing a pledge after an USD 80 million loan defaulted and obtaining control of the pledgor company and its subsidiaries comprising of European banks and other substantial companies.
  • Is currently representing a major German bank in a dispute it has with a Cypriot entity beneficially owned by a Ukrainian oligarch in relation to the sale of a Ukrainian Bank.
  • Is currently representing a prominent Russian businessman in a dispute over the shareholding of one of the largest Russian Malls, Europark.
  • Is currently involved in a multi jurisdictional litigation case concerning a shareholders' dispute in a substantial Russian company. The Cyprus aspect involves the examination of allegations of asset stripping and fraud.

Menelaos has also been involved in a number of important and difficult local cases:

  • As a junior lawyer assisting senior counsel appeared in 1995 before the European Court of Human Rights in a much publicised right to life case against the Republic of Cyprus.
  • In his first case as a qualified advocate represented a young English girl who had sustained an injury after walking through a glass partition at a beach hotel in Limassol. The District Court rejected the claim and an appeal was filed. The Supreme Court then reversed the judgment of the District Court and found in favour of the claimant. The judgment in this case is now often cited by lower courts in cases relating to negligence and the liability of the occupiers of premises where the public has access.
  • Successfully represented a young man who had been the victim of police aggression after a local football match. Substantial damages were awarded to the claimant including punitive damages due to the breach of position of authority that had been demonstrated by the police.
  • Successfully defended a presidential candidate for the 1998 Cyprus elections from a libel claim that had been filed against him a few weeks before the presidential elections.
  • Won an appeal in the Supreme Court of Cyprus against a well known local ophthalmologist who was held to have negligently performed eye laser surgery on the plaintiff, a young lady, causing her permanent sight problems.
  • Represented a well known local lawyer in a successful libel claim filed against a major local newspaper.
  • Acted on behalf of a well known local doctor in a libel claim he filed against a major local newspaper and against a well-known political figure. The libel claim was successful before the District Court and was later upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court of Cyprus. The judgment of the Supreme Court in this case created an important precedent on the limits of the defence of fair comment in the law of defamation.
  • Defended one of the major political parties in Cyprus in a case filed against it by one of its prominent politicians who alleged that he had been wrongfully expelled from it.
  • Won an appeal in the Supreme Court of Cyprus against a well-known local orthopedic surgeon who was held to have negligently performed posterior cruciate ligament surgery on the plaintiff, a forty year old man, causing him permanent paralysis.
  • Successfully defended a bank employee who was accused of embezzlement in a very complex white collar crime case before the Assize Court of Limassol in 2003.

Relevant publications:

  • Was asked to submit a thesis at the FIDE (Federation International de Droit Europeene) conference held in Dublin in June 2004 on the subject “Criminal Law in the European Union: A Giant Leap or a Small Step?”
  • AIJΑ conference in Limassol (19/11/04) – made a presentation on the topic: «Bringing an EU Based Law Case before National Courts: How Does It Work? A Real Life Case Study».
  • Chaired the 1st Annual Cyprus Anti-Money Laundering Forum held in Nicosia on the 24th November 2008 and attended by over 100 professionals.
  • Made a presentation at the C5 forum in London in 2014 on the interim measures available to litigants in Cyprus in cross border cases.
  • Wrote the Cyprus chapter in the first and second editions of ‘The Asset Tracing and Recovery Review.’

Other professional activities:

  • Member of the Board of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (‘CYSEC’) (April 2007 – September 2011). CYSEC is the body which, in accordance to the provisions of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission Law of 2009 (‘the Law’), is responsible for the general supervision of the capital market and the stock exchange market in Cyprus.
  • In 2014 Menelaos was appointed by the President of the Republic of Cyprus as a member of the team advising the President and the chief negotiator in relation to the talks that are taking place with the Turkish Cypriot community with the aim of reuniting Cyprus. Specifically, Menelaos was appointed in the team which will advise on issues of European Union law.