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7KBW team secures summary judgment for YieldStreet on US$76.7 million personal guarantee claim

6th Oct 2020

YS GM Marfin II LLC and ors v Muhammad Ali Lakhani and ors [2020] EWHC 2629 (Comm)

The High Court has handed down judgment in YS GM Marfin II LLC and ors v Muhammad Ali Lakhani and ors [2020] EWHC 2629 (Comm), following applications heard on 22 and 23 September 2020.

The action is brought by companies associated with the YieldStreet alternative investment platform, claiming under personal guarantees of US$76.7 million of defaulted ship-finance lending.

The lenders’ summary judgment application was defended by two of the personal guarantors on the basis that they had given their guarantees under the undue influence of their father, the third personal guarantor. It was said that the lenders had been put “on inquiry” under the principles in Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Etridge (No. 2) [2002] 2 AC 773.

Jacobs J held that there was no real prospect of the undue influence defence succeeding, having regard to the nature of the influence alleged and the commercial relationships involved. Summary judgment was granted on the whole of the claim against all three defendants.

The Judge also continued a worldwide freezing order made by Butcher J in favour of the lenders in April 2020, rejecting a challenge to the injunction advanced by the same two defendants.

The Claimants were represented by Richard Waller QC, Adam Turner and Charlotte Payne, instructed by Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Please view the judgment here.