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Charles Samek KC leads the Claimant team in Athena Capital, Raffaele Mincione & Ors v Secretariat of State of the Holy See (Commercial Court, 24 June 2024 – 14 days)


Described by The Telegraph as “The Trial of the Century“, the trial starting today in the Commercial Court before Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE involves the first ever commercial claim in England against any organ of the Vatican State. In this case, the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, the Vatican’s commercial and administrative arm, faces proceedings for declaratory relief in relation to a transaction relating to the purchase of a landmark property on London’s Sloane Avenue, a former Harrods depository building. The Claimants’ legal team is led by Charles Samek KC of Littleton. They are instructed by Peter Wood, Global Head of Litigation at Withers. Previously, a dispute over jurisdiction (which the Secretariat had lost) had led to the Secretariat being granted what amounted to an indefinite stay of proceedings, but that was overturned by a unanimous Court of Appeal: see [2022] 1 WLR 1389 and [2022] WLR 4570, leading ultimately to the start of the trial today.

An article on the case from The Times can be found here.

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