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Court of Appeal orders retrial of civil fraud claim

9th Aug 2019

Simetra Global Assets Limited v Ikon Finance Limited [2019] 4 WLR 112

The Court of Appeal has today handed down judgment in Simetra Global Assets Limited v Ikon Finance Limited [2019] 4 WLR 112.  Stephen Hofmeyr QC and Josephine Higgs acted for the successful appellants, Simetra Global Assets Limited and Richcroft Investments Limited.  Following a 3-week trial in the Commercial Court in February and March 2018, the appellants’ claims against certain companies and individuals in the Ikon Group of companies, for dishonest assistance in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme and for deceit, were dismissed in a short judgment handed down in the Commercial Court in October 2018.  The Court of Appeal has taken the exceptional course of ordering a retrial before a different judge of the Commercial Court on the basis that the first instance judgment plainly did not take into account relevant evidence and contains inadequately reasoned findings.  They held “that there was a plainly arguable case of dishonesty on the part of Ikon which needed to be addressed and with which the judge did not engage, and that the judge’s findings on the absence of reliance are inadequately reasoned”.  They also held that “this judgment plainly does not take into account the evidence which needed to be taken into account”.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal contains important guidance regarding the requirements of a properly reasoned judgment, building upon the existing guidance in Flannery v Halifax Estate Agencies Ltd [2000] 1 WLR 377 and English v Emery [2002] 1 WLR 2409.

Stephen Hofmeyr QC and Josephine Higgs were instructed by Jackson Parton.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.