CANDEY has extensive experience in dealing with all of the key offshore jurisdictions, where individual and corporate clients often seek to structure their interests before disputes arise in relation to the affairs of those entities. Offshore corporate vehicles in our experience end up being litigants in a wide range of disputes, whether it be financial services, natural resources, telecommunications or various other sectors covering a broad breadth of asset and geography classes.
We habitually work closely with local lawyers in key jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.
We do this right the way through the case process – for example, from obtaining local injunctive relief at the outset in support of English court proceedings or English seated arbitrations, through to enforcing against assets locally to ensure that judgments or awards can be meaningfully monetised or otherwise enforced against tangible assets. There is nothing worse than having a strong legal case that results in an outcome in a client’s favour, only for that award or judgment to be worthless in reality when it comes to enforcement, and worth little more than a paper trophy hung on the client’s office wall. We are acutely aware of the commercial realities at stake here, where pyrrhic victories will not be worth the paper they are printed on. We accordingly maximise our well-established connections with our contacts in multiple offshore jurisdictions to ensure that the right result is just that for our clients every step of the way.
We have had a string of victories in recent years both for clients whose corporate interests sit offshore, as well as in enforcing judgments and awards in the key offshore jurisdictions.
CANDEY recently obtained a freezing order in the BVI over millions of dollars of bitcoin, in cross border litigation, involving the BVI and Gibraltar for a Kazakh shareholder, involved in a minority shareholder dispute.
CANDEY are a party to litigation against KPMG in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and Privy Council in relation to liquidation expenses and the Lundy Granite principle.
CANDEY acted on behalf of a Cypriot holding company (which subsequently redomciled to an “offshore” holding company based on Rusky Island) in a multi-jurisdictional dispute over a substantial stake in a prominent CIS bank. In parallel, a number of claims were heard by the LCIA in accordance with contractual (including fraud) and tortious claims. Related proceedings were conducted in Cyprus (where interim injunctive relief in support of the arbitration proceedings was initially obtained), Russia, Italy and New York. The competing claims of the parties were worth approximately $1 billion. CANDEY achieved initial success resulting in a partial award in the clients’ favour on a number of significant jurisdictional issues, and which was the precursor to the parties reaching an amicable settlement in October 2020.
CANDEY represents two BVI holding companies involved in a Cyprus joint venture dispute over a major CIS mining company. In this high-stakes shareholder dispute, CANDEY's clients successfully secured a partial LCIA arbitration award in their favour, with further proceedings pending in Cyprus (including an extant injunction obtained in Cyprus in support of one set of arbitration proceedings to hold the ring over assets pending enforcement of any successfully obtained award in that arbitration) and London as the dispute continues. The value of our clients' claims, including the value of the underlying assets exceeds US$500 million.
Acting for a Cypriot company and assignee of substantial loan receivables in excess of US$1 billion in LCIA arbitration proceedings against a Cypriot vehicle, with parallel substantive and related insolvency proceedings in the BVI. These proceedings are ongoing.
Advising a Cypriot media and entertainment holding company in defending its interests in Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) arbitration proceedings commenced by a Cypriot company against a range of defendants, including CANDEY’s clients together with various BVI and Cypriot incorporated defendants and a Forbes listed Russian entrepreneur. CANDEY successfully assisted its clients in securing an amicable settlement prior to the closing of the exchange of statements of case, including a lifting of an interim injunction that had been obtained by the Claimant in support of its HKIAC claims.
Acting for Peak Hotels in BVI proceedings and a Hong Kong arbitration in relation to a $35 million dispute, involving the appointment of provisional liquidators.
Acting in an ongoing dispute against the BVI based liquidators of Peak Hotels and Resorts Limited, a BVI incorporated company (“Peak”). This case is of significant public interest given that it concerns the ancient right of lawyers to be paid first from any recoveries, with the UK Supreme Court (being the highest ranked court in the English court system) due to hear CANDEY’s appeal in 2022. This aforementioned right, known as the solicitors’ lien, facilitates access to justice. It enables lawyers to act for parties who have meritorious claims but cannot afford to pay them by deferring payment or making payment conditional on success. As well as those interested in civil liberties the case will be of real interest to funders.
Peak was a joint venture partner in Aman Hotels, an uber luxury hotel group and client of CANDEY. CANDEY was acting in litigation in the BVI (both the BVI Commercial Court and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court), Hong Kong, New York and London. Peak was unable to continue paying CANDEY’s hourly rates and so after taking independent legal advice agreed to pay CANDEY a fixed deferred fee of £3.86 million. As well as relying on rights in England pursuant to common law CANDEY also registered security by way of a fixed and floating charge in the BVI. The fixed fee retainer made clear that in the event of any recovery CANDEY would be paid its fees first.
The company fell into liquidation and the liquidators continued to instruct CANDEY and then settled the litigation for $14 million. The liquidators accepted that the fee was fair and reasonable but refused to pay CANDEY the full fee arguing that CANDEY should only be paid hourly rates pursuant to its BVI charge.
CANDEY refused the offer of the hourly rate, as the fixed fee was the deal. There were 2 Court of Appeal hearings in relation to whether CANDEY could charge monies in Court (pursuant to which it was successful) and the value of its BVI security. The third Court of Appeal decision held that when seeking to enforce the rights of lawyers to be paid first from their recoveries, CANDEY had waived its common law rights by taking the BVI charge. It stated that CANDEY’s reservation of the right to be paid first was not a reservation, and as interest was charged in the BVI charge it was inconsistent.
Appearing in the Supreme Court in March 2022 CANDEY contend that the Court of Appeal was wrong. They argue that by taking security in the BVI they sought to bolster their worldwide security rights, that they had not waived any of their rights, and they in fact had reserved them. With judgment reserved it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will agree with CANDEY’s position.
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