Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Latham Client, Samba Financial Group

Firm acts for Samba in long running dispute following SAAD Group collapse.

April 02, 2019

Latham & Watkins has won an appeal on behalf of Samba Financial Group to the Court of Appeal in a long-running dispute arising from the Saad Group collapse in 2009. Samba is defending a claim by a Cayman islands company Saad Investments Company Limited and its liquidators that Samba knowingly received trust assets in part settlement of a client’s debts. 

Following a major victory before the UK Supreme Court in February 2017 striking out the original legal basis for the claim, the High Court granted permission for the Claimants to bring the claim on different grounds (replacing their insolvency claim with a trust-based claim in knowing receipt) following a hearing in October 2017. 

In March 2019, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision in part, ruling that the knowing receipt claim did not arise out of “the same or substantially the same facts” as the insolvency claim and struck out the claim form. 

The Court of Appeal ruled that, except in rare cases, the assessment of what facts are already in issue must be based on the parties’ statements of case, and not merely on allegations in correspondence or evidence. However, the claim continues on the basis of a claim form issued outside the limitation period, allowing Samba to argue a limitation defense, and is listed for trial in October 2020. 

Commenting on the decision, litigation & trial counsel, Dan Smith, said: “We are delighted at this result for our client, and welcome clarity on the limited basis on which claimants are permitted to amend claims outside the usual limitation period. In long-running litigation, claimants must set out their allegations in full in their statements of case, or risk being unable to bring any new claims based on the allegations.” 

The Latham team is led by litigation partner Oliver Browne and counsel Dan Smith, with support from Kavan Bakhda, Anna Hyde, and George Schurr.


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