Mr Justice Bryan has handed down, following a four-week trial, a 218-page judgment in a claim against Toshiko Morimoto, the mother of Nobu Su, a shipping magnate who destroyed the family business through reckless speculation on the FFA market. The Judge found that Mrs Morimoto (or Madam Su as she was known within the business) had conspired with her son to place the proceeds of sale of a private jet, and two very valuable Monegasque villas, beyond the reach of the claimant, Lakatamia Shipping Co Ltd (“Lakatamia”), thereby frustrating its attempts to enforce earlier judgments of the Commercial Court that Lakatamia had obtained against Mr Su.
The judgment of Mr Justice Bryan provides important guidance on several issues significant for civil fraud practice. Among other things, it confirmed that English law recognises the tort of intentionally violating rights in a judgment debt (which is also known as the Marex tort). This promises to be an important basis for obtaining redress from persons who act to undermine interests in judgments. The judgment also provides a comprehensive survey of the principles applicable to drawing adverse inferences from failures to provide disclosure and to call relevant witnesses.
Lakatamia was represented by S.J. Phillips Q.C., N.G. Casey, Stephen Du and James Goudkamp all of 7 King’s Bench Walk. They were instructed by Hill Dickinson LLP. A copy of the judgment is available here.