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Cases Christopher R Parker

Ming Siu Hung v JF Ming Inc. (2021)

Judgment Date: 14 Jan 2021

Following his ruling that his failure to provide the minority with the Company’s financial statements as required by the Company’s articles constituted unfair prejudice, Leon J had ordered that the majority shareholder buy the shares of the minority. The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal upheld his finding of unfair prejudice but overturned the buy-out order on the ground that requiring the majority shareholder to provide the financial information was the appropriate remedy. The Privy Council restored the buy-out order. Leon J had not made any error of principle and the Court of Appeal had not been entitled to interfere with the exercise of his discretion when considering what relief to grant.

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Bilta (UK) Ltd (In Liquidation) & Ors v (1) NatWest Markets Plc (2) Mercuria Energy Europe Trading Ltd (2020)

Judgment Date: 10 Mar 2020

A claim brought by insolvent companies against a bank and its subsidiary for dishonest assistance and knowing participation in fraudulent trading, via the actions of its traders, was established where the evidence showed that the traders, contrary to their evidence, had been aware at all times that VAT was chargeable on their EU allowance carbon credit trades. Their evidence was untrue, implausible and designed to falsely suggest that there was no reason why they should have made the connection between the vast increase in trade that they were witnessing and the possibility that it was connected to VAT fraud.

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Griffith v Gourgey (2019)

Judgment Date: 22 Nov 2019

In proceedings concerning two petitions alleging unfairly prejudicial conduct, the court emphasised the importance of petitions being fully and properly pleaded. However, the rigour of the approach described in In the Matter of Tecnion Investments Limited [1985] 6 WLUK 68 was less important where the court directed points of claim and points of defence under the Companies (Unfair Prejudice Applications) Proceedings Rules 1986 r.5. In such cases, the petition had to specify the grounds, but need not be fully particularised.

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Burnden Holdings v Fielding (2019)

Judgment Date: 07 Nov 2019

Where a liquidator had taken office in order to pursue a claim against the company's directors at a time when there were no other material assets in the company, and the firm in which he was a partner had funded an early stage of that claim, the firm could not be regarded as a pure funder facilitating access to justice when it came to establishing costs liability after the claim failed. Although the appointment of liquidator was a personal one, his firm stood to gain financially from the liquidator's remuneration and from the uplift it had negotiated. Accordingly, the firm had a sufficient interest in the proceedings to warrant characterisation as a commercial funder and a real party for the purposes of the third-party costs jurisdiction.

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Burnden Holdings v Fielding (2019)

Judgment Date: 19 Jun 2019

The High Court considered the liability of the majority directors of an insolvent company in respect of a grant of security to themselves for a loan made by them to the company and in respect of a distribution in specie of the company's shareholding in a subsidiary. The court determined that liability was fault-based (as opposed to strict liability), and considered the statutory requirements in relation to distributions, the degree of detail and formality required of interim accounts, and the duty to consider the interests of creditors.

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(1) Koshigi Ltd (2) Svoboda Corp v (1) Donna Union Foundation (2) Ulmart Holdings Ltd (2019)

Judgment Date: 30 Jan 2019

It was appropriate to order the claimants to pay the costs of two applications under the Arbitration Act 1996 s.68 which they had discontinued. Further, those costs should be paid on the indemnity basis, the claimants' conduct having taken the case out of the norm.

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Hague Plant Ltd v Martin Hartley Hague (2018)

Judgment Date: 11 Oct 2018

An order granting a company permission to amend its particulars of claim in a specified way had been mandatory, and the company was not entitled to revert to the unamended version of the particulars, especially as they contained allegations which the company had previously admitted were untenable.

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Nicholas John Clwyd Griffith v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & 7 Ors (2018)

Judgment Date: 15 Jun 2018

In a case where law firms had purported to act for a respondent to a petition alleging unfairly prejudicial conduct when they had no authority to do so, they should pay the greater part of the costs incurred by the petitioner and the respondent in relation to an application by the latter to have the petition set aside as against it.

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In The Matter Of Bankside Hotels v Maurice Gourgey (2018)

Judgment Date: 09 May 2018

The court was required to consider the extent to which petitioners needed to adduce evidence to establish unfair prejudice sufficient to found relief under the Companies Act 2006 s.994 against respondents whose points of defence had been struck out.

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Burnden Holdings (UK) Ltd v Fielding & Anor (2018)

Judgment Date: 28 Feb 2018

The court construed the Limitation Act 1980 s.21(1)(b), which provided that no limitation period was applicable to actions by a beneficiary under a trust to recover trust property in the possession of the trustee or previously received by him and converted to his use. The mere fact that misappropriated trust property had remained legally and beneficially owned by corporate vehicles throughout the misappropriation, rather than becoming vested in law or equity in the defaulting directors, did not mean that s.21(1)(b) was inapplicable.

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In The Matter Of Pedersen (Thameside) Ltd v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & Ors (2017)

Judgment Date: 13 Dec 2017

Where a Companies Act 2006 s.994 petition did not contain any allegations of unfairly prejudicial misconduct on the part of a deceased shareholder, who was a respondent to the petition, references to the deceased's estate in the prayer for relief were struck out. In addition, the relief sought against the estate was manifestly excessive.

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Burnden Holdings (UK) Ltd (In Liquidation) v Fielding (2017)

Judgment Date: 28 Jul 2017

Summary judgment was not granted on an insolvent company's claim that its directors had caused its insolvency by dishonestly distributing the share capital of one of its subsidiaries where they had a real prospect of successfully defending the claim. Further, it was possible that the directors were entitled to claim relief under the Companies Act 2006 s.1157 as there was no invariable rule that relief should not be granted to the detriment of the creditors of an insolvent company.

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In the matter of Bankside Hotels Ltd & Ors v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & Ors (2017)

Judgment Date: 05 Jul 2017

Maurice Saleh Gourgey & Ors (2017) Summary A judge had been entitled to refuse to entertain a second application for relief from sanctions where there had been no material change of circumstances since the first application.

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Nicholas John Clwyd Griffith & anor v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & ors (2017)

Judgment Date: 05 Jul 2017

A judge had been entitled to refuse to entertain a second application for relief from sanctions where there had been no material change of circumstances since the first application.

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Castle Trustee Ltd & Ors v Bombay Palace Restaurant Ltd & Anor (2017)

Judgment Date: 31 Mar 2017

The court struck out parts of the defendants' amended defence and counterclaim, which concerned works done on a restaurant, as they sought to introduce a new concept not contained within the original defence and counterclaim, namely that prior agreement was necessary in respect of payment for additional and/or varied works. The new concept, although a plausible outcome, was not consequential on the claimants' amendments to their particulars of claim and required a formal application to amend by the defendants.

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Bilta (UK) Ltd (In Liquidation) v SVS Securities Plc & Ors (2017)

Judgment Date: 31 Jan 2017

Certain amendments to particulars of claim were allowed where they did not distort and extend the trial. The amendments related to evidence that had arisen from German trades that were part of alleged VAT fraud involving the sale and purchase of European Union allowances under the European Emission Trading Scheme.

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JJ Coughlan Ltd & Ors v Charterhouse (Accountants) LLP (Defendant) & Michael Sherry (Third Party) (2016)

Judgment Date: 20 Dec 2016

In a negligence claim against accountants arising from the recommendation of tax-avoidance schemes in 2001 and 2003, it would not be appropriate, subject to one exception, to allow the claimants to amend the particulars of claim. The new allegations represented new claims and did not arise out of the same or substantially the same facts as had already been pleaded.

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Burnden Holdings (UK) Ltd (In Liquidation) v Fielding (2016)

Judgment Date: 17 Jun 2016

A judge had erred in granting summary judgment to the directors of a company in liquidation in respect of a claim for breach of their fiduciary duty, on the basis that the claim was time-barred. No limitation period applied to the claim by reason of the Limitation Act 1980 s.21(1)(b) and, alternatively, the availability of a postponed limitation period, such that the proceedings had been started in time under s.32, could not be determined on an application for summary judgment.

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Jetivia SA v Bilta (UK) Ltd (In Liquidation) (2015)

Judgment Date: 22 Apr 2015

An illegality defence could not bar a claim brought by the liquidators of a company which had been the vehicle for a VAT fraud, against its former directors and overseas suppliers who were alleged to have been involved in the fraud. The conduct of the directors could not be attributed to the company where there was a claim against the directors for a breach of their duties. Further, the Insolvency Act 1986 s.213had extra-territorial effect.

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Hague Plant Ltd v Hague & Ors (2014)

Judgment Date: 11 Dec 2014

A judge had been right to refuse to allow a claimant to re-amend its particulars of claim. The proposed re-amendments fundamentally recast the particulars of claim, made it five times longer than the original, and did not contain a concise statement of the facts relied upon in support of the claim.

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