The Saudi princes, the Clifford Chance partner and London’s High Court

In trying to defend a claim brought by Apex Global Management behind closed doors Clifford Chance clients Prince Mishal al Saud, the former Saudi minister of defence, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, have made the case big news (see blog).

Details of the dispute remain unclear, thanks to a pending appeal on the issue of hearing the claim in private. But now the princes have instructed their legal team to go back to court and argue that, as members of the household of King Abdullah, they should be immune from legal proceedings.

Mr Justice Vos yesterday dismissed their assertions. Put simply he said that they had failed to produce evidence to support their claims.

At the previous case management hearing Mr Justice Morgan had some choice words for their legal team, led by Clifford Chance partner Ian Roxborough, who had claimed that if the case were to be heard in public the effect would be to damage relations between the UK and Saudi.

“The opinions and submissions of the solicitor for the applicants come nowhere near being clear and cogent evidence for this purpose,” the judge stated.

When the courts are working hard to attract international litigants these are the kind of cases it will bring to London.

We can’t wait.

Elsewhere in litigation:

  • Lewis Silkin has launched a litigation funding panel in a move that is expected to become increasingly common following the implementation of the Jackson reforms
  • The High Court has handed another victory to Hogan Lovells in its ongoing legal battle for Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank against its former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov
  • Landmark Chambers was the big winner in the HS2 high-speed rail judicial reviews, in which judgment was handed down on Friday
  • Former Paradise Chambers silk HHJ Jeremy Baker QC has been appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division (QBD) to succeed Mr Justice Eady, who retires later this month
  • Blackstone Chambers is to bolster its roster with the addition of Matrix Chambers’ silk Sam Grodzinski QC