11th Feb 2015
Richard Waller QC, Tim Jenns and Andrew Pearson acted for the Defendant, Mr Andrew Ruhan, in a substantial interlocutory application, in this complex and high value multi-party commercial fraud dispute, which is due to come on for a 4-month hearing before the Commercial Court in late 2016/early 2017.
The Defendant brought applications, inter alia (i) for permission to amend his Defence and Response to RFI; (ii) to bring additional claims and counterclaims against five additional parties (the “Third Parties”) and the First Claimant on the basis that they had misappropriated his assets worth between £150 million and £205 million; (iii) to join the Third Parties to the proceedings; (iv) for immediate disclosure and inspection of a confidential settlement agreement; (v) for proprietary and freezing injunctions; and (vi) for a prohibitory and mandatory injunction with respect to the Defendant’s confidential financial information.
The Claimants and the Third Parties variously objected to the Defendant’s applications for permission to amend, to bring additional claims and counterclaims and to join the Third Parties to the proceedings, inter alia, on the grounds that (1) the Defendant’s proposed claims and counterclaims had no real prospects of success on the facts and the Defendant’s proposed proprietary claims had no real prospects of success on the law; (2) the proposed amendments and additional claims and counterclaims were an abuse of process; and (3) the joinder of all parties would be unworkable from a case management perspective.
At a 5 day hearing before Mr Justice Cooke, the Court rejected the Claimants’ and the Third Parties’ objections to the relief sought. The Court concluded that the Defendant had a strongly arguable case of misappropriation of his assets and that there was a serious issue to be tried in relation to his proprietary claims. The Court further concluded that the Defendant’s new claims were not an abuse of process and justice required that the Defendant should be allowed to pursue them.
The Defendant also succeeded on all his other applications in that, (i) during the hearing the Claimants agreed to disclose the confidential settlement agreement and the parties agreed to give mutual undertakings including to the Court with penal notices attached in order to preserve the disputed assets until trial; and (ii) the Court granted the Defendant’s application for a prohibitory and mandatory injunction to protect the Defendant’s rights of confidentiality.
To view a copy of the judgment please click here.