MOSCOW, October 31 (RAPSI) - The Russian government has hired law firm White & Case LLP in connection with a claim that had been filed by Sergey Pugachev, once an influential tycoon, seeking 12 billion dollars in damages, Dmitry Morochenko, a spokesman for Pugachev, told RAPSI on Monday. 

The legal team will be headed by David Goldberg, White & Case LLP's London-based partner. 

Moscow agreed the case to be considered by a panel of arbitrators with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague, Morochenko said. 

The Russian government missed the deadline to appoint its arbitrator who was selected by the Secretary-General of the PCA in August, Morochenko added. 

As a result, Bernardo Cremades will be sitting on a panel along with Thomas Clay who was chosen by Pugachev in June. 

Lazareff Le Bars is currently acting as counsel to Pugachev. 

The claim was lodged in September 2015. Pugachev alleged an attempted expropriation of his assets totaling $15 billion.

He fled Russia in early 2011 after International Industrial Bank (Mezhprombank) collapsed. 

The Russian Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), which was appointed as liquidator to Mezhprombank, claims that Pugachev extracted money from the bank for his benefit when it was already insolvent. An investigation was launched into the allegations. 

Russian courts ruled that Pugachev along with several other persons should be held liable for the insolvency of Mezhprombank. They were ordered to pay nearly 75.6 billion rubles in damages. Russia's Supreme Court upheld the ruling in January.