HNA Group Co v Shagang – Admissions of bribery and torture evidence

11 September, 2018

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by HNA Group Co against a judgment of the Commercial Court that it was liable under a charterparty guarantee. The issues before the judge, Knowles J, concerned  bribery and the status of various admissions, which Shagang contended had been obtained by torture. The judge found that the bribery allegations were not established and found for Shagang on the guarantee. The Court of Appeal allowed HNA’s appeal, giving important guidance regarding the evaluation of factual allegations by a trial judge, and, in particular, concluding that the Judge should not have taken into account “residual concerns” as to torture which were not proven on the balance of probabilities. The matter has been remitted in part for retrial.

Joe Smouha QC and Edward Brown, instructed by Nathan Searle of Hogan Lovells LLP, acted for the Appellant. Read the judgment in full here.