Court of Appeal decision highlights the principles of partnership asset distribution

June 4, 2024

In Bahia v Sidhu & Anor [2024] EWCA Civ 605 the Court of Appeal has overturned a previous decision by the High Court following a dispute over the distribution of partnership assets following dissolution.

The dispute concerned the dissolution of a partnership that had accumulated a valuable commercial and residential property portfolio, but which had been dissolved following an acrimonious dispute between the parties. Following the breakdown in the partnership there were disagreements regarding the division of the assets. The High Court directed that the assets should be transferred in specie from the Sidhu family to the Bahias to repay sums owed to the partnership. That was a decision that departed from the normal practice of ascertaining the value of partnership assets via sale on the open market. The Sidhus argued that there was no justification for that approach, as the shares in the Partnership were held equally and there were no exceptional circumstances that would justify a departure from an order for sale.

The Court of Appeal has allowed the Sidhus’ appeal against that decision and has directed that the properties should now be sold at auction. The judgment helpfully summarises the relevant legal principles and the approach that should be taken to the valuation of partnership assets.

 

The judgment was handed down remotely at 10.30am on 3rd June 2024

Peter Knox KC and John Carl Townsend (instructed by Clifford Tibber of Anthony Gold Solicitors) acted for the Appellants. 

 

See further:

Court of Appeal Civil Division live hearings

Solicitors Journal

Anthony Gold article: What happens to partnership assets following dissolution?