Cases


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Loveridge v Loveridge

Area of Law: Company

The Court of Appeal has handed down a second judgment in the case of Loveridge v Loveridge [2021] EWCA Civ 1697. Lance Ashworth QC and Dan McCourt Fritz (instructed by Stephen Rome and Georgia Morris at Thursfields Solicitors) were again successful.  The judgment contains an interesting discussion about the proper treatment of informal loan finance within family companies, the outer limits of the unfair prejudice jurisdiction under ss.994-996 of the Companies Act 2006, and on the costs consequences of abortive committal applications.

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Fromageries Bel SA v J Sainsbury PLC

Area of Law: Intellectual Property

Michael Edenborough QC appeared in the appeal to the High Court on the validity of the Babybel red colour trade mark.

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Lifestyle Equities CV v Amazon UK Services Ltd [2021] ETMR 27, [2021] FSR 19

Area of Law: Intellectual Property

Michael Edenborough QC acted in the five-days’ trial on whether the various Amazon internet business models were permissible when they were involved in the sale of allegedly counterfeit articles of clothing.

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Chanel v EUIPO Case T-44/20, [2021] ETMR 40

Area of Law: Intellectual Property

Michael Edenborough QC appeared in the appeal to the General Court on whether it was permissible to re-orientate figurative marks to increase the likelihood of confusion.

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Micron Technology Inc v EUIPO Case T-386/20, [2021] ETMR 51

Area of Law: Intellectual Property

Michael Edenborough QC appeared in the appeal to the General Court on whether a comma could save an application from offending against article 7(1)(c).

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Hirachand v Hirachand

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

An award under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can include a lump sum to enable the claimant to discharge all or part of a success fee payable under a CFA.

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Moskofian v Foster & Ors

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Andrew Francis acted for the Applicant in an application to modify a restrictive covenant in Ealing, West London, and succeeded on payment of compensation to the objectors.  The decision is significant in terms of:

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Watson v Kea Investments

Area of Law: International and Offshore

Elizabeth Jones QC, Justin Higgo QC, Gareth Tilley, Paul Adams, Zahler Bryan, and Oliver Jones continue to act for Kea Investments in the ongoing litigation against Eric Watson, following the substantial judgment obtained against Mr Watson for deceit and breach of fiduciary duty in 2018. This year resulted in notable decisions on the circumstances in which a defendant can have resort to assets subject to a freezing or proprietary injunction when there is an unsatisfied judgment debt ([2020] EWHC 472 (Ch)), a judgment creditor’s right to be subrogated to the position of a bank that had used money held on trust for the judgment creditor to satisfy debts of its customer, the judgment debtor ([2020] EWHC 309 (Ch)) and, in a judgment reaffirming the risk taken by litigants who deliberately breach court orders, Mr Watson was committed to prison for 4 months for failing to disclose assets which were made available for his use ([2020] EWHC 2599 (Ch); [2020] EWHC 2796 (Ch)). Mr Watson’s application to stay the committal order was refused.

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Wong v Grand View Private Trust Company Ltd

Area of Law: International and Offshore

Dakis Hagen QC (assisted by Emma Hargreaves) acts for the Plaintiffs and Jonathan Adkin QC (assisted by Adil Mohamedbhai) acts for the Defendant trustee in Wong & Anor v Grand View Private Trust Company Ltd, a claim to recover substantial trust property transferred to a trustee of a purpose trust. The Plaintiffs succeeded in obtaining summary judgment at first instance on the ground that powers of addition and exclusion cannot be exercised in a manner which alters or destroys the substratum of the trust ([2019] SC (Bda) 37 Com (5 June 2019)), but this was overturned by the Bermuda Court of Appeal in April 2020 (Civil Appeal No. 5A of 2019, 20 April 2020). Richard Wilson QC (assisted by James Weale) acts for Tony Wang, an intervenor in the appeal. The Plaintiffs and Tony Wang have each been granted leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

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State of Qatar v Emirates NBD Bank

Area of Law: Banking and Financial Services

Philip Marshall QC, Jonathan Harris QC (Hon.) and James Mather are acting for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in State of Qatar v Emirates NBD Bank, one of the largest claims to be brought in the English High Court, in which claims are brought against the bank by the State of Qatar in conspiracy said to arise out of an alleged international scheme to manipulate the value of Qatari currency and bonds connected with the so-called ‘blockade’ of Qatar by neighbouring Gulf states causing the Qatari Central Bank to have to deposit US$13 billion.

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Lunar Holdings Ltd v Lunar Caravans Ltd

Area of Law: Intellectual Property

In Lunar Holdings Ltd v Lunar Caravans Ltd, Thomas Braithwaite blended IP and company law when he appeared in the IPEC for defendants accused of breach of a trade mark licence. A summary judgment application was defeated on the grounds that the claimant arguably did not have good title to the trade mark, having acquired it by way of an unlawful return of capital and disguised distribution by a company to its shareholder.

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Business Energy Solutions v Scrivener & Ors

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Philip Marshall QC and Matthew Morrison continue to act for Business Energy Solutions (BES) in respect of proceedings arising from the obtaining and execution of search warrants, and an ongoing trading standards investigation into BES’s affairs. The claims, which seek damages for misfeasance in public office and just satisfaction under the Human Rights Act 1998, raise novel points of public and private law including immunity from suit. The 12-day trial commences in November 2021.

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Vale v Steinmetz & Ors

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Philip Jones QC and Hugh Norbury QC are each instructed on behalf of separate Defendants in the major commercial fraud case of Vale v Steinmetz & Ors, arising out of a failed mining joint venture in Guinea. The claim is for nearly US$2 billion.

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Cesfin Ventures LLC v Ghaith Al Qubaisi

Area of Law: Arbitration

In Cesfin Ventures LLC v Ghaith Al Qubaisi, Rupert Reed QC and Gregor Hogan obtained a worldwide freezing order in the Chancery Division against a director and shareholder of a UAE conglomerate in support of New York proceedings against him as “alter ego” of the UAE holding company, alternatively in setting aside fraudulent transfer to himself and others of company assets to frustrate enforcement of the award rendered in an ICC arbitration seated in New York.

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Ivanishvili, Bidzina and others v Credit Suisse Trust Ltd [2020] SGCA 62

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

Jonathan Adkin QC, Sophie Holcombe, and Jamie Randall act on behalf of the former Prime Minister of Georgia and his family as beneficiaries of a Singapore Trust in Ivanishvili, Bidzina and others v Credit Suisse Trust Ltd [2020] SGCA 62. Claims have been commenced against Credit Suisse entities for losses arising from the mismanagement of an investment portfolio said to be worth over US$1bn. In July 2020 the Singapore Court of Appeal dismissed Credit Suisse Trust’s jurisdiction challenge, bringing an end to a long-running jurisdiction battle.

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Kelly v Baker & Braid

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Lance Ashworth QC acts for the claimant in Kelly v Baker & Braid, a commercial court claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation and/or breach of fiduciary duty leading to the sale of a group of companies at an undervalue of over £110m.

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ITG Limited v Glennalla Properties Limited

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

John Machell QC acts for the appellants in ITG Limited v Glennalla Properties Limited in an appeal to the Privy Council. The case concerns issues relating to the insolvency of trusts including the priority between the indemnity claims of successive trustees, and between trustees and outside creditors.

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Toner v Telford Homes & Ors

Area of Law: Property

Amy Proferes acts for the First and Second Defendants in Toner v Telford Homes & Ors, a claim regarding a flat purchased off-plan. The claimant seeks rescission, damages and other remedies against 6 defendants including the developer, the property manager and the current freeholder, on the basis of misrepresentation, breach of contract, fraud, negligence and harassment. The case raises questions which will be of importance to developers selling properties off plan as to representations made in sales models and brochures, as well as how (and whether) developers can protect themselves from such claims by means of disclaimers and/or contractual terms. Judgment is currently awaited on applications by the First to Fourth Defendants seeking summary judgment and/or strike out of the claim.

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Wellcourt Investment Corp v Propfurn Ltd

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Lance Ashworth QC and Matthew Morrison are acting for the claimants in Wellcourt Investment Corp v Propfurn Ltd, a claim in connection with a £100m property portfolio in London, owned by BVI and Liberian companies. They have so far successfully obtained recovery of all monies held by the former agents of the claimants.

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Grove Park Properties v Royal Bank of Scotland

Area of Law: Banking and Financial Services

Lance Ashworth QC acts for the claimant in Grove Park Properties v Royal Bank of Scotland, which is due for a 10-day Commercial Court trial in January 2021, in which it is alleged that the defendant bank fraudulently amended a loan agreement to halve the term of the loan.

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Bett & Gethin v Crown Estate

Area of Law: Property

Thomas Braithwaite, acting for the Crown Estate Commissioners, successfully defeated an adverse claim to part of the North Norfolk coast. The case addressed the principles of accretion and avulsion, and the presumption of Crown ownership of the foreshore (Bett & Gethin v Crown Estate (FTT, REF/2017/0591)).

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Circumference v Martin

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

John Machell QC acts for the claimants in Circumference v Martin in which the Claimants claim an entitlement to rescind a share purchase agreement for fraudulent misrepresentation.

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Kelleher v Castlebourne Homes (Rock) Ltd [2020]

Area of Law: Property

In Kelleher v Castlebourne Homes (Rock) Ltd [2020] (High Court, Bodmin District Registry) Andrew Bruce represented the Defendant developers in a dispute about the width of a strip of land and easement at a site in Trebetherick, Cornwall. The trial took place over a week entirely remotely in Summer 2020 and involved detailed consideration of historic conveyances, numerous plans and various aerial photographs, together with contested expert surveying evidence. HHJ Carr’s judgment paid tribute to the quality of the submissions.

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China Metals v Chun

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Hugh Norbury QC has been involved in the English leg of China Metals v Chun, a large international fraud case relating to the alleged misappropriation of assets in China / Hong Kong. Hugh is acting for the daughters of the alleged fraudster in relation to a proprietary injunction over valuable assets that they hold in London.

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Dunmoore (West London) Ltd v Vanessa Donegan [2020]

In Dunmoore (West London) Ltd v Vanessa Donegan [2020] (Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber), Andrew Bruce acted for the Objector on an application to modify a restrictive covenant under s.84(1)(aa) of the Law of Property Act 1925. The Applicants were constructing an industrial park on agricultural land near Billingshurst, Sussex and sought to modify a covenant which prevented any building on a buffer zone of 200’ from the boundary of the Objector’s (extensive and valuable) home. The application was settled the last working day before the Upper Tribunal hearing on commercial terms.

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Equity Real Estate (Bracknell) Ltd & Ors v Capstan Capital Partners LLP & Ors

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

In Equity Real Estate (Bracknell) Ltd & Ors v Capstan Capital Partners LLP & Ors, Justin Higgo QC and Stephanie Thompson are representing five SPVs who are the apparent victims of a substantial property investment fraud. They have so far obtained extensive disclosure from third parties under the Bankers Trust, Norwich Pharmacal, and pre-action disclosure jurisdictions.

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Ballacorey What v Brown and Ors

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Hugh Norbury QC is instructed on behalf of corporate and individual trustee and director defendants in Ballacorey What v Brown and Ors, a fraud claim issued in the Isle of Man arising out of a relationship between investment managers in the GEM financial management business.

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Credit Europe Bank (Dubai) Ltd v. (1) NMC Trading LLC (2) NMC Healthcare LLC (3) Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty [2020] DIFC CFI 031

Area of Law: International and Offshore

In Credit Europe Bank (Dubai) Ltd v. (1) NMC Trading LLC (2) NMC Healthcare LLC (3) Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty [2020] DIFC CFI 031, Rupert Reed QC and Gregor Hogan acted for the major Dutch Bank, CEBD, to obtaining a worldwide freezing order against Dr BR Shetty, founder of the troubled NMC Group. The decision also confirmed that an applicant need not demonstrate any assets of the respondent in the jurisdiction of the DIFC to obtain a worldwide freezing order. Rupert and Gregor will represent CEBD at the trial of its claim against Dr Shetty in September 2021.

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Wickers v Humbles

Area of Law: Property

In Wickers v Humbles, Philip Jones QC and Gregor Hogan continue to act for the directors of a property development company in a dispute arising from the impact of the global financial crisis on a super-prime property development in London. The case is expected to proceed to a six-week trial in the Isle of Man in late 2021 or 2022.

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Federal Republic of Nigeria v Tibit

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

In Federal Republic of Nigeria v Tibit, Timothy Collingwood QC acts for the defendant company in an action in the BVI brought on behalf of the Government of Nigeria to recover funds which it is claimed were appropriated by corrupt former officials and used to purchase an executive jet.

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Gens v Goldenberg

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

Hugh Norbury QC was instructed in Gens v Goldenberg, in which a battle between Russian investors in a Russian software business was briefly before the English High Court; the case was compromised before the interesting issue of jurisdiction was resolved.

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Athene v Siddiqui, Cernich & Caldera

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

Hugh Norbury QC has been working on the Bermudian element of the international battle waged by the private equity firm Apollo and its subsidiary Athene against their former partner /employees who have set up a competitive business (Athene v Siddiqui, Cernich & Caldera).

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PPRS v Tecar

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

In PPRS v Tecar Justin Higgo QC represents the defendant in multiple claims for breach of warranty arising out of the sale of a Romanian paper business.

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FAL Oil Company Ltd v Sarjah Electricity and Water Authority

Area of Law: International and Offshore

Rupert Reed QC and Gregor Hogan act for the Sarjah Elecricity and Water Authority in FAL Oil Company Ltd v Sarjah Electricity and Water Authority. The case involves the challenging of the recognition and enforcement in the DIFC of a Sarjah court judgment on the basis of inter-Emirate immunity. This is the first time the DIFC Court has considered the concepts of sovereign immunity within the UAE and judgment is expected in early 2021.

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Haz International Limited

Area of Law: Company

Matthew Morrison and Gregor Hogan act for Haz International Limited in connection with misfeasance proceedings alleging the diversion of business opportunities and other wrongs by a former director and shareholder. These have been consolidated with a just and equitable winding up/unfair prejudice petition presented by the defendant director/shareholder. The evidential stage of the trial (including the cross-examination of three Turkish witnesses via a translator) took place remotely over ten days in the Insolvency and Companies Court during January 2021. Closings will be presented in March 2021.

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Khalifeh v Blom Bank [2020] EWHC 2427(QB)

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

In Khalifeh v Blom Bank, Zahler Bryan is acting for the claimant who seeks the return of monies held in a Lebanese bank account and, in a high-profile decision earlier this year, successfully resisted the Lebanese bank’s jurisdiction challenge by establishing that the claimant was a consumer for the purposes of the European rules of jurisdiction ([2020] EWHC 2427(QB)).

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Toucan Energy Holdings Ltd v Wirsol Energy Ltd

Area of Law: Commercial Litigation

Sophia Hurst represented the Claimants in Toucan Energy Holdings Ltd v Wirsol Energy Ltd in a five-week trial in the Commercial Court before Henshaw J. The US$60m dispute related to the sale, construction, and financing of 19 solar farms in the UK. Judgment is awaited.

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Skobelev

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Philip Jones QC has been acting in the BVI in numerous applications in the Skobelev case in which a Russian national has sought to recover money and assets stolen from him by a former employee and her husband.

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Brown & Company Plc v Faber Capital (DIFC) Ltd

Area of Law: International and Offshore

In Brown & Company Plc v Faber Capital (DIFC) Ltd, Rupert Reed QC, and Gregor Hogan continue to act for a financial services firm defending allegations of breach of fiduciary duty arising from a sophisticated phishing attack.

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St Johns Trust Company (PUT) Ltd v Medlands (PTC) Ltd

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

John Machell QC and Dan McCourt Fritz act for one of the respondents to an appeal in St Johns Trust Company (PUT) Ltd v Medlands (PTC) Ltd. The appeal concerned various orders made by the Court exercising its supervisory jurisdiction in relation to trusts. The appeal was heard by the Bermudian Court of Appeal in January 2020.

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B v B

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

In B v B, Emma Hargreaves and Gregor Hogan act for the wife in divorce proceedings involving Portuguese property held in a Cypriot trust. The case involves complex questions of jurisdiction and trusts law, and is expected to be one of the first decisions considering the Privy Council’s decision in Webb v Webb. Judgment is expected in early 2021.

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Riverside Truck Rental

Area of Law: Competition Law and State Subsidies

Professor Suzanne Rab represented Riverside Truck Rental in parallel proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) and the Administrative Court for judicial review. The claim raised EU and procurement law questions arising out of the conduct of a public procurement procedure subject to the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/102) (PCR 2015) and related duties arising under EU law. The case raised novel issues of law including consideration of when judicial review claims can be brought where there is a statutory procedure.

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Trafalgar v Hadley & Ors

Area of Law: Insolvency

In Trafalgar v Hadley & Ors Justin Higgo QC and Jamie Randall continue to represent the liquidator of Trafalgar in multi-party proceedings in the Chancery Division to recover funds misappropriated from a Cayman Islands segregated portfolio by its fiduciaries.

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Re: H Limited

Area of Law: Company

In Re: H Limited, Timothy Collingwood QC acts for majority shareholders in BVI proceedings involving allegations against them of unfairly prejudicial conduct, where the Court has had to address the effect on the claim against the shareholders of an arbitration agreement in the company’s articles of association.

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Medical Imaging Partners v St Joseph’s Independent Hospital

Area of Law: Company

In Medical Imaging Partners v St Joseph’s Independent Hospital, the question arose as to whether an MRI machine and other medical equipment subject to chattel leases had become annexed to land owned by a company in administration, so that title to the equipment passed to the purchasers of the business when the company’s assets were sold by the administrators. Thomas Braithwaite acted for the purchasers.

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HMRC v IGE USA Investments

Area of Law: Civil Fraud

Philip Jones QC and Gareth Tilley are acting for HMRC in HMRC v IGE USA Investments Ltd, a claim arising from the Revenue’s contention that it has rescinded tax settlements with the UK Subgroup of the US conglomerate worth upwards of £650m. The trial is to take place in late 2021. An interlocutory decision of Zacaroli J reported at [2020] EWHC 2121 (Ch) permitting the Claimants to amend to allege fraud is currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal raising the question of what if any limitation period applies to equitable claims for rescission on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation.

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Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA v IDF & Anr (Re Stingray Trust) (judgment 21/12/20)

Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Dakis Hagen QC appeared for the first defendant in Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA v IDF & Anr (21/12/2020) FSD 248 OF 2017 (IKJ) in her successful application for a stay of a claim in the Cayman Islands seeking declarations as to the validity of a Cayman Islands trust which trust was already being impugned by her in ongoing litigation in Italy.  The application was met in part by the argument that the Cayman court had an exclusive statutory jurisdiction to determine such matters under s. 90 of the Cayman Trusts Law (which, it was said, in that context abrogated the power to stay on grounds of forum non conveniens);  the court noted that such had been the orthodox view historically based on authorities stretching back 20 years. 

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Basin Supply Corporation v (1) Rouge LLC (2) Claude Barret [2018] CFI 057

Area of Law: International and Offshore

In Basin v Rouge CFI 057/2018, James Weale appeared in the last in-person hearing in the DIFC Court before lockdown. Following a trial, James obtained judgment for the claimant in a claim under a guarantee agreement: [2018] CFI 057. The Court gave guidance on the extent to which variations to underlying obligations affect the validity of an associated guarantee. James also successfully defeated a jurisdiction challenge submitted to the Joint Judicial Committee (Cassation No. 9 of 2019).

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