Al-Rawas v Pegasus - Ruling in the High Court of London

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LONDON, April 5 // -- In a case brought by Mrs Iman Said Abdul Aziz Al-Rawas on behalf of herself and her husband, Mr Thamer Al-Shanfari, against Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP in the High Court of London, the appellate Court has found in favour of Pegasus Energy Limited.

    The English proceedings concerned 'search and seizure' and 'freezing' orders obtained by Mrs Al-Rawas against Pegasus, its directors, its shareholders and associated companies in August 2006. These orders were obtained without notice to Pegasus, on the basis of evidence mainly from Thamer Al-Shanfari, and without Pegasus having the opportunity to explain the correct position to the Court.

    The case was won by Pegasus in September 2006. Despite the very strong Judgment of the Honourable Mr Justice Ramsey in favour of Pegasus and the other Defendants, Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari) appealed.

    Lord Justices Ward and Moore-Bick, and Sir Martin Nourse, presiding in the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld Mr Justice Ramsey's Judgment.

    Mr Justice Ramsey severely criticised Thamer Al-Shanfari for misleading the Court, saying:

    However, I have come to the conclusion that the evidence provided by Mr Al-Shanfari contained a central and material non-disclosure .............. I do not consider that the non-disclosure can be described as innocent, or limited to knowledge of the loans made after March 2003.............In such circumstances, the evidence given by Mr Al-Shanfari and his failure to mention his knowledge of legitimate loans ............... was a material non-disclosure, and the only conclusion I can reach is that it was intended to mislead the court by raising suspicions as to the existence of and the basis of the loans when, in truth, such suspicions were, to a large extent, not properly grounded.

    Pegasus and the Defendants were awarded indemnity costs by both Mr Justice Ramsey and the Court of Appeal. Mr Justice Ramsey ordered Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari) to pay to the Defendants GBP200,000 as an initial on account contribution towards the Defendants' costs for the case; the Court of Appeal ordered Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari) to pay a further GBP60,000 as a further initial contribution to the Defendants' costs.

    Mr Justice Ramsey also ordered Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari) to pay US$1 million (in addition to GBP155,000 which had been previously ordered by other Judges) as security for Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari)'s obligation to compensate the Defendants for all their damages and losses suffered as a result of the Orders which Mrs Al-Rawas (Mr Al-Shanfari) had improperly obtained.

    The costs and damages ultimately payable to Pegasus will be considerably in excess of GBP2 million.

    This Press Release is from Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, solicitors, London (http://www.ffw.com). Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP acted for the successful Defendants. Any queries should be addressed to Partner, Peter Stewart who Heads Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP's Commercial Litigation Department.

    Contact :

    Peter Stewart

    Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP 35 Vine Street London EC3N 2AA

    Tel +44-(0)20-7861-4000 Fax +44-(0)20-7488-0084

    E-mail info@ffw.com Web http://www.ffw.com CDE 823
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