Judge orders English court to move to Zambia for fraud case

The paraphernalia of an English court is due to be moved to Zambia next year in the face of a ruling handed down by Mr Justice Peter Smith.

The case, The Attorney General of Zambia for and on behalf of the Republic of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai & ors, involves a number of defendants, including London solicitors Meer Care & Desai and Cave Malik & Co.

Represented by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, the government of Zambia alleges that the defendants were involved in the fraudulent misappropriation of government funds. Cave Malik strenuously denies the allegations. Meer Care did not return calls for comment.

The recent hearing dealt with an application by some of the defendants for a stay in proceedings. Smith J dismissed the application and decided, for the benefit of the Zambian defendants, that part of the evidence would be heard in Zambia. Video links will be used to keep the parties updated with proceedings in both Zambia and England, where most of the case will be heard next year.

DLA Piper partner Janet Legrand instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ William Blair QC for Zambia. Reynolds Porter Chamberlain instructed David Head of 3 Verulam Buildings for Meer Care & Desai. Cave Malik & Co is represented by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Four New Square’s Roger Stewart QC. West End firm Bensons is representing many individual defendants, instructing 2 Gray’s Inn Square’s Chima Umezuruike.