ISC Global UK Ltd was a security company active from 2000 to 2004. It was founded in 2000 by lawyer Stephen Curtis, who acted for a group of Russian billionaire oligarchs, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Leonid Nevzlin and Vladimir Guzinsky. All key individuals in the privatised Russian oil company Yukos, they were reported to have provided £3million to set up the company.
Initially the company involved two ex-detectives from the Metropolitan Police, Keith Hunter and Nigel Brown, who already had their own private security businesses and subcontracted work to each other. Following Curtis' death in a helicopter crash in 2004, Hunter and Brown parted ways, with Brown taking over the Israeli side of the business. Hunter purchased the remainder of ISC Global and turned it in to RISC Management.
Curtis provided ISC with clients from his network of very wealthy people across the world, ranging from Middle Eastern royalty, politicans to wealthy shareholders. The main clientele however were Russian business people.
From 2001 to 2005, the firm carried out due diligence work for Yukos and the related company Altus Investment Management Ltd, as well as specialist security services for Russian oligarchs in exile, including 'monitoring' of the Kremlin's attempts to extradite them. Hunter claims that ISC Global played a key role in the company's battle with Russion prosecutors, carrying out surveillance and intelligence gathering operations on individuals for Yukos . This included providing security to Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky.
In 2001 / 2002 a subsidiary company was set up in Israel as part of the work being done with Nevzlin, who was based there. This part of the company was subsequently kept by Nigel Brown when the partnership with Hunter ended.
In 2004, Stephen Curtis, the founder of the company, died in a mysterious helicopter accident. Friends told investigative reporter Mark Hollingsworrth that Curtis had been receiveing threats on his life and family at the time and approached the Foreign Office and National Crime Intelligence Service,offering full but covert co-operation. Former ISC Global director Nigel Brown and others close to Curtis believe the helipcopter accident had in fact been an assassination.
- Michael Gillard, Detective accused of taking bribes from Russian exiles, The Times, 2 June 2006.
- Tom Harper, Former Met detective alleged to have billed lawyers for invoices worth 'thousands of pounds' in Nigerian politician case, The Independent, 9 January 2015.
- Transcript of Evidence given on 16 February 2015, The Litvinenko Inquiry, undated (accessed 1 August 2015). Cite error: Invalid
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- Curtis had a small legal firm, Curtis & Co, based at 94 Park Lane, London, with 3-4 other lawyers.
- Keith Lindsay Hunter, Witness Statement, The Litvinenko Inquiry, 5 December 2012 (accessed 1 August 2015).
- Transcript of Evidence given on 9 Februry 2015, The Litvinenko Inquiry, undated (accessed 1 August 2015).
- Mark Hollingsworth & Stewart Lansley, 'If you find me dead, it won't be an accident': How Russian oligarchs' favourite English lawyer met his horrifying death, Daily Mail, 19 July 2009 (accessed 30 July 2015).