SAMARA, December 20 (RAPSI) – The government of Russia’s Samara Region plans to choose by December 23 which law firm will be providing it legal advice in its efforts to collect nearly 1 billion rubles (over $30 million) from the heirs of late oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

The Samara Region placed a tender seeking counsel on an official online database in late November. Pinsent Masons and Herbert Smith Freehills law firms are among the bidders, along with the local Yuriscosult LLC. The costs for the services are set at GBP 340,000.

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.

In April 2012, Moscow’s Simonovsky Court granted the Samara Region government nearly one billion rubles in damages against Berezovsky and Dubov.
The Samara Region government filed an action with the London's High Court of Justice to recover the money in September 2012. Pinsent Masons acted on behalf of the government in the case.

Berezovsky was found dead by his bodyguard in the bathroom of his house on Mill Lane, Ascot, Berkshire, on March 23, 2012. The results of a post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be consistent with hanging.

Grant Thornton was court-appointed to deal with the estate until an executor was appointed.