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New decision on s. 25 Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982

The decision of Newey J in Royal Westminster Investments Ltd & others v Varma [2012] EWHC 3439 (Ch) handed down on Friday 30 December rejecting the Claimant’s application for interim relief in support of foreign proceedings (in the BVI) is a rare example of a judgment in a claim under s. 25 CJJA outside the context of freezing order relief.

It is an important decision in three contexts:

(a)    It provides a thorough and authoritative review of the case law deriving from Pickering v Stephenson concerning  prohibitions on shareholders from spending company money litigating shareholder disputes;

(b)   It confirms that a shareholder (whether legal or beneficial) cannot by personal action (outside the scope of s. 994 relief) obtain relief requiring a director/shareholder to repay funds allegedly misappropriated from the company;

(c)    It demonstrates the reluctance of the English Court to make orders which may interfere with the case management of the substantive proceedings.

Stuart Ritchie QC instructed by PCB Litigation LLP represented the successful Defendant.

The full Judgment can be read here.

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