Court of Appeal of Cayman Islands dismisses appeal in landmark fraud claim

On 21 December 2021, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the appeal in the momentous AHAB v Saad Investments litigation.

The Court has unanimously dismissed AHAB's appeal in respect of all of its claims against the Respondent group of companies, the AwalCos. Harriet Fear Davies was part of the counsel team representing the AwalCos for the appeal, led by Ben Valentin Q.C. of Fountain Court Chambers, as was James Hart, also of Fountain Court Chambers.

This substantial appeal, from a May 2018 decision by the trial judge, The Hon. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie QC, to dismiss all of AHAB's claims, was heard over five weeks in 2019.  It arose from the longest and highest value fraud case trial in the Cayman Islands in which Harriet was also instructed. She has worked on the matter since 2015 and was led at trial initially by Marcus Smith QC (now the Honourable Mr Justice Marcus Smith) and in the later stages by Bridget Lucas QC.

The Court of Appeal's 276-page judgment upholds the Chief Justice's decision on the facts, and includes a detailed and insightful consideration of a large number of fraud-related legal issues including forgery, attribution, tracing, dishonest assistance, conspiracy, unjust enrichment and the defence of illegality.

The judgment marks the end of more than a decade of litigation against the AwalCos (whose Joint Official Liquidators instructed Stewart Hey, Charlotte Pender and Caroline Greenwell of Charles Russell Speechlys, in London, and HSM Chambers, and latterly Broadhurst LLC, in the Cayman Islands).

A link to the Court's judgment can be found here.

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