English High Court orders disclosure of Skeleton Argument lodged in Cayman Grand Court proceedings

On 26 October 2016, Law 360 reported on a disclosure order made by Mr. Justice Newey in the English High Court, ordering the disclosure of a Skeleton Argument filed by the claimant in separate proceedings in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

The English proceedings are captioned Singularis Holdings Ltd v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Limited, HC14B02789, Chancery Division.

In the English proceedings, the claimant, Singularis, represented by its Liquidators, from Grant Thornton, is claiming about GBP 120 million (about US$200 million) in damages for alleged negligence relating to the defendant’s misapplication of the property of the claimant.

 

As Law 360 explains, ““The skeleton argument is of relevance and there’s no question of it being hard to find or disclose,” said Judge Newey. “The right course is to order the disclosure of the argument.”

The case in London, which is due to go to trial at the end of November, and the concurrent suit in the Cayman Islands are the latest in a web of disputes that have taken place across the world after companies owned by Al Sanea and the extremely wealthy Saudi Arabian Algosaibi family defaulted in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Singularis Holdings Ltd., registered in the Cayman Islands, was one of a group of firms that made up the Saad Group conglomerate owned by Al Sanea, who married into the Algosaibi family, which runs the diversified Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros. Co. group, or AHAB.

Lawyers for Singularis alleged in court that Daiwa should have been aware of Singularis’ insolvent position in 2009 when the Japanese firm paid money it was holding for Singularis to other business interests of Al Sanea.

Daiwa argues that because of a promissory note from AHAB to Singularis for $4.5 billion, the firm’s balance sheet didn’t show it had more liabilities than assets.

Arguments over the validity of the promissory note lie at the heart of the Cayman Islands suit, which is being brought by AHAB against Singularis and other entities connected to Al Sanea.

“If you have a promissory note from someone who’s got no money, that doesn’t mean it counts as an asset,” said Judge Newey in the High Court on Wednesday. “But that also doesn’t mean it’s an empty debate.”

“My impression is that the [Cayman Islands suit] skeleton argument will say something about the promissory notes and while what is said may take matters no further, I do not think it can be said to be irrelevant on that ground,” Judge Newey added.”

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