Stuart is recommended by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for his work in the area of commercial litigation. He undertakes a wide variety of commercial litigation in both England and offshore jurisdictions. Stuart’s forensic approach to litigation and his ability to analyse accounts and financial transactions mean that he is particularly adept at dealing with claims involving allegations of financial wrongdoing. His financial acumen is complemented by formidable cross-examination skills.
In Briefline Assets Limited v Nikolay Falin (in the BVI Commercial Court) Stuart acted for Mr Falin, who was the Defendant to a claim brought by a Seychelles company (“Briefline”) to the beneficial ownership of the shares in a BVI company. Briefline obtained an ex parte freezing injunction on the basis of allegations of fraud. However, Stuart obtained the discharge of the freezing injunction on the grounds that there had been a breach of the duty of full and frank disclosure and the claim disclosed no cause of action. The claim was discontinued on 20th October 2022.
In Abudantia B.V. v Fastron Limited and Rillius Limited Stuart acts for the Claimant, a company incorporated in Curacao and controlled by Ukrainian businessmen. Both Abudantia and the Defendants carry on the business of providing online gaming serves to the public in various jurisdictions around the world. The dispute relates to a joint venture between Abudantia and Fastron and, in particular, whether (a) the joint venture agreements have been terminated and (b) Abudantia has a right to use certain trademarks. There are also claims relating to the torts of malicious falsehood, inducing a breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy. The proceedings are ongoing.
In Paul Evans and others v Martin Heath Stuart is acting for the Defendant in a claim by four Claimants that they were induced to invest in a start-up technology company by multiple fraudulent (or negligent) misrepresentations. The misrepresentations are alleged to have been made in relation to the capabilities of the software created by the company and the extent of its customer base. The claim is ongoing, but one of the Claimants has discontinued.
In Ashco International Limited v Mercantile Investment Holdings S.A. Stuart acted for the Defendant, a company incorporated in St. Kitts and Nevis. The claim was brought by 76 investors in leasehold interests in hotel rooms in two hotel developments. The Defendant provided mortgage finance and it was claimed that it had repudiated its agreements with the Claimants. Alternatively, the Claimants sought relief under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and/or the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
In Renova Industries Limited v Emerson International Corporation Stuart acted for a group of companies controlled by a prominent Russian businessman in litigation in the BVI. The dispute related to a joint venture in the Russian/CIS energy sector and a failure to place certain assets under the control of the joint venture vehicle.
In Orexim Trading Limited v Mahavir Port and Terminal Limited Stuart acted for a Maltese company, Orexim Trading Limited, in relation to claims for damages for breach of contract. The proceedings are in the Commercial Court. The background to the claim was a fraud perpetrated on Orexim following the sale to a UAE company of 12,000 metric tons of sunflower seed oil. That fraud resulted in the oil being misappropriated by an Iranian company, without any payment being made to Orexim. A settlement agreement was concluded between Orexim and the First Defendant, an Indian company, but that agreement was breached. The First Defendant had sought to dispose of its principal asset (a ship) to an associated Indian company (the Third Defendant) via a Singaporean company (the Second Defendant) and a claim was made under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to set aside that purported sale. At first instance the claim under section 423 was struck out on the ground that there was no jurisdiction to serve such a claim on a defendant who was out of the jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal held that claims under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 could be served on defendants out of the jurisdiction, but that in this case there was insufficient connection with England. On 9th October 2019 Orexim obtained judgment against MPT for $8,841,334.17 plus interest and costs.
In Kernel Holdings SA v Perryvale Entreprises Inc Stuart acted for Perryvale Enterprises Inc in confidential arbitration proceedings relating to a share purchase agreement and obtained an award that Kernel pay Perryvale the total sum of $23,950,480.70 plus interest. Kernel challenged the award under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 on the ground of procedural irregularity. The trial of that arbitration claim took place in the Commercial Court before Sir Jeremy Cooke. Kernel was partially successful in its challenge and 4 issues were remitted to the arbitrators for reconsideration. Stuart represented Perryvale at the remittal hearing before the arbitrators.
In Ecology Support services Limited v Various Defendants Stuart is acting for Ecology Support Services Limited (“ESS”), which is the assignee of loans made to high net worth individuals to facilitate their participation in a tax avoidance scheme known as the Globalcure Scheme. ESS is suing 29 Defendants for the repayment of loans with a total value of approximately £26 million. The Defendants have raised 9 defences to the claims. In particular, they allege that they were induced to participate in the Scheme by fraudulent misrepresentations. Other defences include allegations of an unlawful means conspiracy, illegality, mutual mistake, unfair credit relationship and an assertion that the Scheme was an unregulated collective investment scheme. During the course of the proceedings Stuart has successfully opposed the Defendants’ application for a Group Litigation Order. The claim was compromised.
In Gudavadze v Carlina Overseas Corporation Stuart acted for a Cayman Islands subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan in a dispute in the British Virgin Islands over the ownership of the share capital of a company, which was the ultimate owner of a Black Sea oil terminal. The dispute was settled.
In Thomas v Capita Trustees Limited Stuart acted for 129 claimants in proceedings relating to a film partnership investment scheme, which was marketed to them on the basis that it would provide tax advantages. The claim, which was for approximately £30 million including interest, was settled.
In Wilson v Dodd  EWHC 3727 (Ch) Stuart obtained judgment for an American investor who was the victim of fraud. The court held that a statement that a third party had invested in a business could amount to a fraudulent misrepresentation.
In Newton v Edgeley Stuart acted for the defendant to claim for negligent misrepresentation brought by investors in a business which he had started. The trial of the claim took place in November and December 2012 and resulted in the claim being dismissed.
In JSD Corporation (Pty) Limited v Al Waha PJSC Stuart acted for a Singaporean company seeking to recover the deposit of $4.5 million paid in respect of the purchase of an aircraft. Stuart obtained summary judgment for $3.5 million  EWHC 583 (Ch) and judgment for the remaining $1 million following the trial of the claim  3376 (Ch). In Aercap Limited v Avia Asset Management  EWHC 2431 (Comm) Stuart acted for the defendant purchaser of an aircraft, which had failed to complete the purchase and was seeking to resist a claim for damages. In Air Partner International SA v TAG Aviation (UK) Limited Stuart acted for a French company seeking damages on the basis that TAG Aviation had failed to provide the flights it had contracted to provide and had been paid for. The claim was based on an allegation that TAG had acted through an agent, which had gone into administration.
In Investec Bank (UK) Limited v Zulman  EWHC 1590 (Comm) Stuart acted for the defendants to a claim by a bank on a guarantee. The claim raised issues of construction and also rectification. Stuart was successful at first instance and also before the Court of Appeal (Investec Bank (UK) Limited v Zulman  EWCA Civ 536).
In Finurba Corporate Finance Limited v Azevedo  EWCA Civ 465 Stuart acted for a Portuguese company and a Luxembourg company, which were defendants to a claim involving allegations of fraud. Stuart applied successfully to strike out the claim against them and the decision was upheld on appeal.
In Harris v Kent  EWHC 463 Stuart acted for the Claimant in a claim for fraudulent breach of trust and obtained judgment for a little over £1.2 million. Stuart’s two-day cross-examination of the principal defendant resulted in findings that the defendant had lied and was guilty of a dishonest breach of trust.
In Beddow v Cayzer  EWCA Civ 644 Stuart acted for the Defendant to a claim for fraud, breach of contract and breach of trust. Having lost at first instance, Stuart obtained permission to appeal on 18 grounds. The appeal was upheld and the claim dismissed by the Court of Appeal on the hearing of 2 preliminary issues. The decision of the Court of Appeal is one of the most recent authorities on the Pallant v Morgan equity.
In SEG Umwelt-Service GmbH v M.D.J. Light Brothers (Scrap Processors) Limited Stuart acted for a German company in a dispute concerning a joint venture relating to the recycling of fridges and the safe extraction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The claim was based on a forensic analysis of documents obtained following an application for pre-action disclosure and was settled on advantageous terms following a mediation.
In Marlin UK LLC v RFH Limited  EWHC 235 (Ch) Stuart acted for a U.S. company in proceedings against its UK agent, which included allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trust monies. Orders for an account and the payment of the sums found to be due on the taking of the account were obtained at trial.
Other relevant cases include Hedley v R & T Swann Limited (a dispute relating to a shareholders’ agreement and the conduct of a director involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty), Barratt v Rubicon Software (a dispute relating to the share capital of a software company), Powersafer GmbH v Todt (a claim by a German company for breach of fiduciary duty), Aculab plc v Stevenage Circuits Ltd (a claim relating to the quality and fitness for purpose of printed circuit boards), Orange Aero Ltd v TRT Ltd (a claim relating to the quality and fitness for purpose of second hand parts for Rolls Royce jet engines), Murray v Anchor Trust (a claim for damages for negligent tax advice in relation to an off-shore trust), PCL Transport Ltd v BAAS Planten (a Commercial Court claim relating to a contract for the transportation of plants) andScottish & Newcastle International Ltd v Othon Ghalanos Ltd  EWHC 1039 (Comm), a dispute regarding the construction of Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 in the context of a CFR sale of cider to a purchaser in the Republic of Cyprus.