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Commercial Court rules on shareholder dispute

23rd Feb 2021

Ferand Business Corporation and others v Kolen International S.A. and others [2021] EWHC 40 (Comm)

David Allen QC and Jason Robinson represented the successful Claimants in this shareholder dispute between sibling heirs to a shipping dynasty and shareholders of MIHL, a company established to profit from the running of a fleet of bulk carriers. Disputes arose when the Second Defendant issued extra-judicial notices in Greece that made allegations found by the Commercial Court to be unfounded in various respects. The Claimants sought, and obtained, a suite of declarations to that effect.

The proceedings gave rise to a number of judgments.  In the main judgment, the Judge found in favour of the Claimants on the merits of the claim (see [2021] EWHC 40 (Comm)). Paragraph 42 of the judgment is a helpful recitation of the rules concerning the granting of declaratory relief.

In his judgment on costs, the Judge ordered the Second Defendant to pay the Claimants, and the First Defendant, indemnity costs with respect to certain aspects of the proceedings, including (in respect of the Claimants’ costs) for the period from the issuance of the Second Defendant’s “very late” applications shortly before trial until the end of trial: see [2021] EWHC 197 (Comm).

This case note has been prepared by David Allen QC and Jason Robinson of 7KBW who acted for the Claimants.