UK & Europe
Energy & Natural Resources
This newsletter provides general information and is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide specific legal advice. Professional advice appropriate to a specific situation should always be sought.
High Court refuses to release $1bn in gold to Venezuela
At a hearing held at the end of June, the English High Court denied a request by the Nicolas Maduro led government of Venezuela for the Bank of England to release $1bn in gold reserves and for Deutsche Bank to pay $120m, being the proceeds of a gold swap contract, to the Venezuelan Central Bank in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The government led by Juan Guaido had sought to deny the release of the funds to the Maduro government and issued conflicting instructions to the Bank of England and Deutsche Bank. The Court was therefore asked to decide whether the UK Government recognises Nicolas Maduro or Juan Guaido as the lawful president of Venezuela. The Court confirmed that the UK Government has "unequivocally recognised" Juan Guaido as the lawful president and so there was no need for the Court to consider whether Nicolas Maduro exercises administrative control over Venezuela as the 'de facto' president. The Maduro government has already confirmed its intention to appeal the decision. For more information, please see here.