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İşbilen v Selman Turk & Ors [2024] EWHC 505 (Ch)

Court: High Court | Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Dan McCourt Fritz KC and Andrew Gurr act in successful committal application

The High Court has handed down a sentence of 12 months against the Respondent to a committal application in the long-running fraud case İşbilen v Turk. Dan McCourt Fritz KC and Andrew Gurr, instructed by Peters & Peters, acted for the successful applicant, Mrs İşbilen.

The Court found that Mr Turk had committed serious and contumacious breaches of an asset tracing order in failing to disclose information relating to the whereabouts of millions of pounds worth of funds to which Mrs İşbilen makes proprietary claims. Mr Turk’s breaches of the order were aggravated by his having put forward false explanations for some of the transactions, and by defending the application on the false basis that he did not understand the order and was not properly advised on its meaning and effect.

The judgment of Sir Anthony Mann on liability ([2024] EWHC 505 (Ch)) is available here.

The liability judgment includes discussion on a number of points which will be of interest to practitioners, including:

  • a helpful summary of the general principles applicable to committal applications relating to non-disclosure in relation to tracing relief (paragraph [22]);
  • the role of intention and contumacy in determining committal applications (paragraphs [23]-[28]);
  • the proper approach to the construction of tracing orders (paragraphs [32]-[45]);
  • whether an alleged contemnor may properly rely on a witness statement without also submitting to cross-examination ([48]-[56]);
  • the form and substance of penal notices in cases involving a number of companies and individuals ([64]-[77]);

The decision has also been reported in the national press, including in the Times and the Telegraph.