NIZHNY NOVGOROD, 19 Nov. – RAPSI. Law firm Pinsent Masons will represent the interests of the Samara Region government in London's High Court of Justice in its efforts to collect nearly a billion rubles from self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, the regional government stated Monday.

In September, the Samara Region government filed an action to recover 989 million rubles ($31.7 million) that the oligarch had failed to pay up after a lower court ordered him to do so. An open tender was later announced for legal representation of the region in England.

The government announced that after considering the results of its open competition for the provision of legal services, the Samara Region government selected Pinsent Masons LLP, which agreed to conduct these services for £400,000.

According to the rules of the competition, a government contract was promised to the winner of the competition after ten days, allowing that winner to represent the interests of the Samara Region government.

Earlier, Russian prosecutors found that in 1995, Berezovsky and his then-business partner Yuly Dubov conducted a series of thefts that proved damaging to Samara Region. The regional government joined the case as an aggrieved party. The investigation revealed that the region had sustained 58 million rubles in damages. The amount was later indexed for inflation and interest. In the end, the amount exceeded one billion rubles.

This past April, Moscow’s Simonovsky Court granted the Samara Region government nearly one billion rubles in damages against Berezovsky and Dubov. As previously reported by RIA Novosti, Berezovsky – who has been living in the UK for years – refuses to recognize the Russian court’s decision and doubts that the regional government will succeed in its efforts to enforce it.