Financing fraud claims struck out on limitation grounds

6 December, 2021

In a reserved judgment of the Commercial Court handed down by HHJ Pelling QC on 3 December 2021, the claims made by the Libyan Investment Authority (“LIA”) against Man GLG (formerly GLG Partners) have been struck out on limitation grounds: [2021] EWHC 2684 (Comm).

LIA’s claims arose out of its purchase in June 2008 of $200m of notes issued by Credit Suisse. The return on these notes tracked the performance of a fund managed by GLG Partners. In the event, the notes were refinanced (without reference to GLG) in June 2009. A payment of $6m had been made by Credit Suisse to GLG in relation to the transaction, and GLG had paid a further US$6m to Lands Company, in respect of introductory services provided to it.  LIA claimed in these proceedings that the notes had been procured following the provision of fraudulent and corrupt services by Walid Al-Giahmi, who was said to have bribed and/or intimidated at least three LIA officials – although no bribery or intimidation was specifically identified in relation to the transactions in issue. The question for the Court was whether the LIA was entitled to pursue its claims, and whether claims against GLG in knowing receipt, unjust enrichment and for a tracing remedy were properly made.

The Court determined, for the reasons set out in its judgment, that the LIA’s claims were statute barred for limitation. The LIA could, with reasonable diligence, have identified their claims more than six years before the proceedings had been issued, including by having made enquiries of GLG, which the Court found it “unreal” to suppose GLG would not have answered. In addition, it was held that the claims asserted by the LIA in knowing receipt and for a proprietary tracing remedy showed no real prospect of success and (had they not otherwise have been struck out) would have been amenable to summary judgment.

The LIA has confirmed that it does not intend to appeal the Judgment, a copy of which can be found here.

Paul McGrath QC and Ruth den Besten were instructed by Peter Burrell and Mike Thorne of Willkie Farr Gallagher LLP.