The Lawyer reveals its ‘Top 20 cases of 2023’

Two cases involving members of Maitland Chambers are featured in The Lawyer 's Top 20 Cases with proceedings set to be heard in court during 2023.

Asturion Foundation v Aljawharah Bint Ibrahim Abdulaziz Alibrahim

This case, which has already had proceedings in at least four different countries, goes to the heart of the Saudi royal family and involves allegations relating to properties in five different European nations.

Asturion Foundation, represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, is a Liechtenstein-established foundation created to hold assets on behalf of the royal family. It is set to go up against Aljawharah Bint Ibrahim Abdulaziz Alibrahim, the widow of the late King Fahd, who ruled the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between 1982 and 2005.

Asturion brought the English claim over a £28m London property that a member of Asturion’s board had transferred to the defendant, allegedly without authority. The lawsuit was lodged in 2015 but has since gone through a series of hurdles before getting to trial in 2023.

Other board members are seeking to recover the property from the King’s widow, who is represented by Simmons & Simmons, claiming other members of the royal family are also beneficiaries. The Foundation argues that the action was taken in breach of its duties. A pre-trial review is to occur between 6 and 8 June, with the full trial expected to take place on 3 July for 13 days.

David Mumford KC and James Kinman act for the claimant, Asturion Foundation, instructed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v Richard John Adam, Richard John Howson, Zafar Iqbal Khan, Keith Robertson Cochrane CBE, Andrew James Harrower Dougal, Philip Nevill Green CBE, Alison Jane Horner and Ceri Michele Powell

The fallout over the collapse of Carillion continues as the UK Government seeks to hold eight former directors accountable. In October, one of the largest and most-high profile disqualification proceedings to date will be taking place as the Government applies to disqualify eight former directors of the company.

Once a construction and services giant, Carillion collapsed in 2018 and was put into liquidation. The breakdown of Carillion had ripple effects across the construction sector, which led it to be one of the largest liquidations over the last decade.

Last year the company’s liquidators sued KPMG for £1.3bn for breaching its duty of care to Carillion. The audit firm had been the company’s auditor since 1999, so the high-profile demise of Carillion led to the audit giant’s work being scrutinised.

It has generated several investigations, including a three-year investigation by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Insolvency Service. The trial is set for 25 weeks from October. If the court sides with the Government, the eight directors could be prohibited from serving as directors for several years.

Mark Cunningham KC acts for the claimant, Secretary of State Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy instructed by Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP.

A link to the full article is available to Litigation Tracker subscribers here.