Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands hands down judgment in AHAB v Saad Investments Company Limited

On 21 December 2021, the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands (CICA) handed down its long-awaited judgment in AHAB v Saad Investments Company Limited.

The CICA dismissed AHAB’s appeal in respect of all of its claims against Saad Investments Company Limited and certain other companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands and now in liquidation whose joint official liquidators are partners of Grant Thornton (the GT Defendants).

Marcus Haywood acted as junior counsel for the GT Defendants on the appeal which arose out of the largest trial to have ever taken place in the history of the Cayman Islands. The hearing of the appeal took place over five weeks in 2019.

The trial involved allegations made by AHAB, a Saudi Arabian partnership, that during the period from at least 2000 to 2009, Maan Al Sanea (who had married into the Algosaibi family) used his alleged complete managerial control of the Money Exchange, a division of AHAB, to defraud AHAB by misappropriating over US$4 billion from the Money Exchange and funding the misappropriations by causing AHAB to be liable to third parties for, and eventually in default in respect of, over US$9.2 billion in alleged unauthorised debt.

In its 276-page judgment, the CICA upholds the decision of the Chief Justice on the facts that, by reason of AHAB’s knowledge and consent, Al Sanea was not in breach of his fiduciary duty owed to AHAB/the Money Exchange.

The judgment of the CICA also includes a comprehensive and thought-provoking analysis of a large number of legal issues raised on the appeal, including in relation to the conflicts of laws, forgery, attribution, tracing, conspiracy and the defence of illegality.

A link to the Court’s judgment appears here.

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