DWF successfully defends Mishcon de Reya and secures indemnity costs in substantial civil fraud claim found to have been “speculative and weak, and in large part opportunistic
Mr Justice Morgan has recently handed down his judgments in Instant Access Properties Limited (in Liquidation) -v- Rosser & Ors  EWHC 756 (Ch);  EWHC 1145 (Ch). DWF’s Michael Robin, Chris Lewis and Sarah Cahill acted for Mishcon de Reya.
The claim was brought by the liquidators of Instant Access, both in their own right and on behalf of the company, against the individuals who effectively owned and controlled the company and their professional advisers. It concerned very serious allegations, including dishonest breaches of fiduciary and directors’ duties, dishonest assistance, unlawful means conspiracy, dishonest tax evasion and fraudulent trading under the Insolvency Act 1986. The essence of the claim was that the defendants had dishonestly conspired to defraud both creditors and HMRC by unlawfully diverting revenue to which the company was entitled into offshore companies. Damages were sought in excess of £34 million.
Decision – Indemnity Costs Awarded
Following a five-week trial late last year, Mr Justice Morgan has dismissed all those claims in their entirety. In his judgment on consequential matters, Mr Justice Morgan granted indemnity costs in favour of five of the seven defendants, noting that the claimants had taken a high risk in pursuing the claim, which “did not fail for a single reason, [but] for several reasons, any one of which, on its own, would have sufficed to defeat the claim.” The Judge found that it was “entirely right” that Mishcon de Reya should have taken all steps to defend itself and that the claimants had, by their behaviour and conduct of the action, forfeited their entitlement to have proportionality brought to bear on these costs.
For more information please contact Michael Robin Partner Michael.Robin@dwf.law
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