10 Apr 2024

Finance litigation roundup - April 2024

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Welcome to our latest finance litigation update, in which we summarise some of the most significant cases and other developments relevant to banks and other financial institutions over the last six months or so.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Stephenson Harwood contact if you have any questions. See the full team here.

'Who calls the shots?' – FCDO issues guidance on ownership and control in UK sanctions regulations
Following the much-discussed Court of Appeal judgment in Mints & Ors v PJSC National Bank Trust & Anor [2023] EWCA Civ 1132, the UK Government has issued clarification that there is no presumption in the UK sanctions regulations that President Putin exercises indirect or de facto control over all entities in Russia.

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Enforcement of foreign judgments: Invest Bank v El-Husseini
A recent Commercial Court decision has raised an intriguing question of private international law: can a foreign judgment be enforced in England and Wales if it is not enforceable in the country where it was given?

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London Metal Exchange wins High Court ruling over cancelled nickel trades
On 29 November 2023, the Administrative Court handed down its judgment in the case of Elliott Associates L.P. and others and Jane Street Global Trading v The London Metal Exchange and another, in respect of the LME's decision to cancel nickel trades in response to price surges in March 2022.

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Privilege in the spotlight: Al Sadeq v Dechert LLP
The recent judgment in Al Sadeq v Dechert LLP [2023] EWHC 795 (KB) provides insight into a number of interesting issues relating to legal professional privilege, namely: (1) when legal professional privilege will be overridden (and inspection of documents ordered) in respect of documents that seek to 'further' criminal or fraudulent activity; (2) the application of legal professional privilege to investigatory work undertaken by solicitors; (3) the availability of a claim to litigation privilege by non-parties; and (4) the appropriate approach to redacting documents containing both privileged and non-privileged material.

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Venice swaps decision sunk by Court of Appeal (Banca Intesa v Venezia)
The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and Dexia Crediop SpA and dismissed a cross-appeal by the Comune di Venezia, upholding the validity of interest rate swaps entered into by Venice with the Banks and overturning the High Court decision that they were void because Venice lacked capacity to enter into them under Italian law.

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Knowing receipt: No continuing equitable proprietary interest, no liability (Byers v Saudi National Bank)
In Byers & Ors v Saudi National Bank [2023] UKSC 51, the Supreme Court has held that a claim for knowing receipt requires the claimant to have a continuing equitable proprietary interest in the assets at the time the defendant receives them.

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Skeletons in the closet: Supreme Court clarifies the meaning of "deliberate concealment" in the context of the Limitation Act 1980
The Supreme Court's judgment in Canada Square Operations Ltd v Potter [2023] UKSC 41 provides welcome clarity on the meaning of "deliberate concealment" in the context of s32 Limitation Act 1980 (the "Act").

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Privilege and the iniquity exception: clarifying the boundaries
In Al Sadeq v Dechert LLP & Ors [2024] EWCA Civ 28 and others, the Court of Appeal has handed down a significant decision that clarifies the scope of legal professional privilege and establishes a new merits threshold for the application of the iniquity exception. The judgment also confirms that litigation privilege may sometimes apply to non-parties.

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