ENRC v Dechert, Mr Gerrard, and the SFO

22 December, 2023

Judgment has been handed down by Waksman J in the latest stage of ENRC v Dechert, Mr Gerrard, and the SFO (the “Phase 1A Judgment”). The Phase 1A Trial – which was heard over two weeks in March 2023 – addressed certain issues of causation, loss, and contribution following the Phase 1 Trial and Phase 1 Judgment on liability ([2022] EWHC 1138 (Comm), one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2021).

The Phase 1A Judgment held (inter alia) that:

  1. ENRC is entitled to significantly more by way of damages than Dechert and the SFO had contended, though not as much as ENRC had sought.
  2. The SFO’s wrongdoing was an effective cause of the losses claimed by ENRC in respect of unnecessary work, unnecessary costs, and wasted management time.
  3. But for the SFO’s wrongdoing, the SFO would not have commenced the criminal investigation into ENRC.
  4. So far as contribution is concerned, in respect of unnecessary work, Dechert and Mr Gerrard are each liable for 100% and must indemnify the SFO accordingly; and in respect of liability for unnecessary costs and wasted management time, Dechert and Mr Gerrard are liable on a joint and several basis to contribute 75% and the SFO are liable to contribute 25%.

Links to the Phase 1A Judgment and its summary can be found here.

Nathan Pillow KC and Freddie Popplewell acted for ENRC (with Clare Montgomery KC, Anna Boase KC, and Jack Rivett), instructed by Michael Roberts of Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Richard Millett KC and Mark Belshaw acted for Dechert (with Michael Bools KC and Edward Harrison), instructed by Richard Harrison and Niya Phiri of Clyde & Co LLP.