Strike out of CMS case against LAIP confirmed by Court of Appeal in London
As previously reported, a multi-million dollar claim brought by Catalyst Managerial Services (CMS) against Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAIP) was struck out by orders of the English High Court in 2017. At a hearing, held on 12 July 2018, the strike out has been confirmed by the English Court of Appeal, conclusively ending the claim with no case for LAIP to answer and orders that CMS pay LAIP’s costs.
CMS first brought its claim against LAIP in 2012 for US$ 15 million in alleged unpaid invoices and in excess of US$ 0.5 billion in estimated damages for alleged wrongful termination of a management consultancy agreement. LAIP denied the claim in its entirety and consistently asserted that it was a sham, CMS having already been paid for its services. In May 2016, LAIP was granted permission by the High Court to advance a counterclaim in fraud against the individuals who appeared to be behind CMS’ claim, namely its CEO, Zia Qadir Qureshi, and a former employee of LAIP, Mohamed Said Shushan.
CMS’ repeated failure to comply with court orders and its wholly unsatisfactory evidence led to its claim being struck out in its entirety in March 2017, and CMS was ordered to pay LAIP’s costs of the action. In April 2017, CMS claimed that the strike out should be set aside, and its claim should be relisted for trial. The High Court denied CMS’ application, stating that CMS’ attempts were “too little, too late.” The recent decision of the Court of Appeal confirms in its entirety the High Court’s decision which CMS had sought to appeal. Lady Justice Sharp and Lord Justices Richards and Newey, sitting in the Court of Appeal, also ordered CMS to pay LAIP’s costs.
Commenting on LAIP’s final success in the case, Elkamel Elgsayer, LAIP’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “LAIP is delighted that the Court of Appeal has confirmed the High Court’s previous orders that CMS’ claim is struck out in its entirety. In the five and a half years since CMS first brought its claim LAIP has been steadfast in its defence that the claim was dishonestly brought and without merit. We continued the believe of the previous CEO of LAIP Mr. Ahmed Kashadah that the claimant, and those individuals behind it, sought to take advantage of the instability in Libya and provided full support to LAIP advisers and external lawyers to reach the desired outcome. LAIP will not tolerate such conduct and will continue to defend robustly all of its rights against individuals and entities that seek to exploit Libya’s circumstances in this way.”