Whereas English Courts, following the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal in Bank St Petersburg PJSC and others v. Arkhangelsky and others  EWCA Civ 408, are applying the same standard of proof (the balance of probabilities) as in all other civil claims, Cypriot Courts are still applying a higher standard. In Andreas Tsiartas and other v. Alocay Holdings Ltd and other (2010) 1 C.L.R. 1523 the Supreme Court held that when claimants are alleging fraud they have a higher burden to strictly prove the pleaded particulars of fraud without, however, being necessary to prove every and each pleaded particular. This approach to the standard of proof is similar with what was the required level of proving civil fraud in England prior the Arkhangelsky case when cogent evidence was required to justify a finding of fraud or other discreditable conduct (see Fiona Trust v Privalov  EWHC 3199).
We expect that Cyprus Courts (which apply common law) will follow and adopt what was decided as to the standard of proof in the Arkhangelsky case, especially since fraud claims before the Cyprus Courts are rising during the last decade and they are getting bigger and more complex, making it hard for claimants to prove fraud beyond all possible doubt. The test that Cyprus Courts should apply to evidence in admittedly sophisticated, complex fraud cases should be the same as in all other civil claims. Claimants will need to prove that fraud is more likely than not to have happened by providing of course the Court with detailed evidence of facts or circumstances which suggest that fraud or dishonesty has been committed as it is nonetheless required to provide strong evidence to make out a pleading of fraud, even on the balance of probabilities.
Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team has dedicated expertise in fraud litigation in Cyprus and has the crucial experience of obtaining freezing injunctive relief and other pre-emptive remedies before assets are dissipated further.