Court of Appeal upholds Hogan Lovells victory in one of the largest ongoing disputes in the English courts

Fri, 28 January 2022

London, 28 January 2022 – A Hogan Lovells team has secured a significant Court of Appeal victory in a mammoth civil fraud claim that is one of the largest disputes currently before the UK courts: The Public Institution for Social Security v. Al Rajaan & Others. 

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With more than USD 800 million in dispute and a long list of defendants, the case has been prominently featured as one of the The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases. This week, in a victory for Hogan Lovells client Mr. Luc Argand, a senior Geneva lawyer, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the November 2020 judgment of Mr Justice Henshaw, and found that the claims in the case were subject to Swiss jurisdiction under the Lugano Convention so cannot be tried in England.

The lawsuit was originally launched in 2019 by the Kuwaiti Public Institution of Financial Security (PIFSS), which operates the Kuwaiti social security and pension scheme. In its claim, PIFSS alleges it is owed over USD 800 million as a result of a large-scale fraud by its former director general, Fahad Maziad Rajaan Al-Rajaan. 

With allegations of bribery and corruption spanning three decades, it is claimed that Al-Rajaan used a series of financial institutions and intermediaries to procure unauthorised secret commissions with the assistance of other defendants. The claim will now proceed against the remaining defendants who did not seek to challenge the English court’s jurisdiction.   

Crispin Rapinet and Oliver Humphrey, partners at Hogan Lovells, said: “This is an important precedent-setting case, in which the Court of Appeal has clarified, in a logical and considered manner, the proper scope and application of articles 6 and 23 of the Lugano Convention.

The Hogan Lovells team acting for Mr. Luc Argand includes Crispin Rapinet, partner, Oliver Humphrey, partner, and Rebecca Hing, senior associate, instructing Nathan Pillow QC and Tom Ford at Essex Court Chambers. 

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

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