GRANT THORTON liquidators have lost an appeal to hand over vital documents at the centre of the Tchenguiz brothers’ case against the SFO.
Propety tycoons Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz (pictured) won a court order in July 2013 which ordered the release of documents that triggered the SFO to carry out dawn raids on the brothers more than two years ago. That raid was part of a botched investigation into the pair’s involvement in the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing.
Steve Akers and Mark McDonald acted as joint liquidators for Oscatello, a British Virgin Islands-registered investment vehicle that was one of the largest debtors of Kaupthing.
A Court of Appeal ruled that Grant Thornton liquidators Steve Akers and Mark McDonald must hand over the documents, agreeing with an original judgment.
The Appeal judgment said: “There is in my view no basis on which we could legitimately differ from the judge’s assessment.”
The liquidators had claimed that the report was protected by litigation privilege. In the first court case the judge rejected this claim, which is was upheld on appeal.
A statement from the liquidators said: “We are disappointed by today’s judgement and are deeply concerned that the ruling will impede our work to recover assets from the Tchenguiz Discretionary Trust (TDT).
“However, we will not challenge the ruling. Instead we will continue to focus on our work to recover assets from the TDT. This includes work to recover £183m of assets held in the TDT following a positive ruling by the Royal Court of Guernsey in December.”
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