Cases


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Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Trust [2020] SGCA 62

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

The Singapore Court of Appeal has dismissed Credit Suisse Trust’s jurisdiction challenge in breach of trust proceedings brought by the beneficiaries of a Singapore Trust, bringing an end to a long-running jurisdiction battle. The Court allowed the Claimants’ appeal on the grounds that Singapore was the most appropriate forum to determine the breach of trust claims against the trustee, and laid down important guidance as to the effect of forum for administration clauses in trust deeds. The Court of Appeal held that the forum for administration clause in the trust deed functioned as a jurisdiction clause, but that it did not govern all proceedings: it designated the jurisdiction that had supervisory jurisdiction over the trust, rather than dictating the venue for the resolution of contentious disputes. Jonathan Adkin QC and Sophie Holcombe act for the Claimants, instructed by Signature Litigation LLP, together with Drew & Napier (Singapore). The full Judgment can be found here.

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Phoenix v Phoenix [2020] EWHC 1409 (Ch)

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Jonathan Fowles acted for the successful claimant in a claim to enforce a testamentary option. The case involved arguments about the construction of a will and whether in the circumstances all executors needed to be individually served with the relevant option notice. The case is also notable for its approach to an award of statutory interest.

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Nuffield Health v London Borough of Merton

Area of Law: Charities

Jonathan Fowles acted with Cain Ormondroyd (Francis Taylor Building) for Merton Council in defending a claim to establish charitable exemption from non-domestic rates for one of Nuffield Health’s fitness and wellbeing centres. The claim succeeded, but the Court of Appeal has given Merton permission to appeal. The case raises important issues about the charitable exemption and the public benefit test in charity law.

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Nimat Halal Food Ltd & Anor v Patel & Anor [2020] EWHC 734 (Ch)

Area of Law: Insolvency

Chief ICC Judge Briggs declined to order costs against an administrator despite the debtor’s successful appeal against the administrator’s rejection of his proof of debt.  The judgment makes clear that administrators who act neutrally will not be visited with personal costs liability absent ‘special circumstances’ or ‘good reason’, even if the court takes a different view on the proof of debt.   By contrast, an office holder who initiates unsuccessful proceedings risks personal liability.  The case offers useful guidance in an important area where there is little authority.

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Shanghai Shipyard Co Ltd v Reignwood International Investment (Group) Company Ltd [2020] EWHC 803 (Comm)

Area of Law: Banking and Financial Services

The Commercial Court held that a parent company guarantee of the final instalment under a shipbuilding contract was not a demand bond but a true “see to it” guarantee, under which the guarantor did not have to pay unless an arbitration award was first made against the owner.  The case has attracted significant interest in the shipbuilding industry, and permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted.

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Taylor v Rhino Overseas Inc. [2020] EWCA Civ 353

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

Lance Ashworth QC and Dan McCourt Fritz represented the Respondents in an appeal from the decision of Julia Dias QC as a High Court Judge [2019] EWHC 1951 (Ch).  The Court of Appeal held that the Judge had been right to say that agency did not extend to allow the party to enter into the contract as agent for an undisclosed principal. Further, it upheld the Judge’s findings that the relevant agent was not, in any event, intended to be a party to the contract.  Appeal was dismissed.

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Christoforou v Christoforou [2020] EWHC 1196 (Ch)

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

In Christoforou v Christoforou [2020] EWHC 1196 (Ch) the High Court struck out allegations of dishonesty, fraud, and illegality from an Amended Defence and excluded those allegations from consideration (and cross-examination) at trial.  Giving judgment HH Judge Stephen Eyre QC (sitting as a High Court Judge) found that the allegations amounted to similar fact of evidence but that they were of “peripheral” value to the Claimant’s claim that a London property is held on trust for him pursuant to a common intention constructive trust. Allowing the allegations to remain, he held, would have greatly increased the cost, and risked an adjournment, of the trial. Daniel Lightman QC and Stephanie Thompson represent the Claimant. The trial is due to take place in July 2020.

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Grupo Mexico SAB DE CV & Ors v The Registrar Of Companies For England And Wales & Ors [2018] EWHC 1306 (Ch)

Area of Law: Partnership and LLP

Please click here to view the judgment.

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SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd v Renish Petroleum FZE

Area of Law: International and Offshore

In SBM Bank (Mauritius) Ltd v Renish Petroleum FZE, Rupert Reed QC and James Weale act for the claimant bank in respect of an alleged $30 million fraud. Having successful resisted a jurisdiction challenge brought by one of the defendants before the joint Judicial Committee (Cassation No.5 of 2018) a final hearing in the DIFC is to be listed in 2020. 

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