HONG KONG, Apr 14, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - Nobu Su, a leading Taiwanese businessman and the chairman of TMT, has made headway in the long-standing Lakatamia case, having been granted leave to appeal a case of personal liability.
Details about the grounds for granting the leave to appeal, which was lodged by Nobu Su's lawyers, were revealed at a hearing before the Court of Appeal on Thursday, 19th March 2015. Nobu Su won leave to appeal against the finding of personal liability against him. The judges have concluded that Mr Su has an arguable case that he should not be held personally liable for close to US$47 million. Further, all of the defendants have won the right to appeal against some 20% of the judgment amount made in favour of a Liberian company connected with Polys Haji-Ioannou, called Slagen Shipping Co Ltd. - the judges having also allowed this second limb of appeal. A third limb of appeal relating to metadata was dropped prior to the hearing.
In the judgment at first instance in November 2014, Mr Justice Cooke had found that there was a personal contract between Mr Su and Polys Haji-Ioannou, brokered by Vassilis Karakoulakis of Clarksons. In January 2015, Mr Su said, "There is a real risk that under English law, directors and employees may find themselves in the firing line simply because they were involved in contract negotiations or spoke to a broker. This could wreak havoc on business operations and contract negotiations, as well as create a disincentive for anyone to agree to English law in their contracts in the future."
Nobu Su and his companies also appealed part of the Judgment on the basis that Slagen Shipping Co Ltd had been dissolved before it was belatedly added as a claimant by Lakatamia's solicitors, Hill Dickinson. It is understood that Hill Dickinson was unaware that its own client had ceased operations at the time it decided to add it as a claimant. Su's intelligence company Black Cube made the discovery and passed the information to Su's lawyers, W Legal. W Legal argued that under Liberian law, Slagen should not be able to claim for damages awarded to it because of its dissolution. Although the judges held this was a technical argument, they nonetheless granted a leave to appeal on this basis.
As a condition of the appeal, security valued at US$22 million must be provided to the court. A stay of execution pending the hearing of the appeal was ordered, conditional upon this security being lodged. If the security is put up, the appeal will probably be heard at a much later this year or perhaps next year.
Mr Su said, "I am pleased that the leave to appeal has been granted and I am hopeful that justice will prevail. My solicitors W Legal have asked me not to make any other public comments on the appeal. My attention is now turned to the role that Vassilis Karakoulakis of Clarksons played in brokering this deal. Mr Karakoulakis has asked my team to contact him via his personal yahoo account rather than his Clarkson's e mail account in relation to the agreement that he brokered."
Nobu Su and his related companies are represented by Nigel Kushner and Jodi Tierney of W Legal. W Legal have been instructing Stephen Cogley QC and Turlough Stone of Quadrant Chambers and Leonora Sagan of 20 Essex Street.
Polys Haji-Ioannou and his related companies are represented by Russell Gardner of Hill Dickinson. Hill Dickson have been instructing Stephen Phillips QC MP and Noel Casey of 7 King's Bench Walk.
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