Mr Justice Popplewell has handed down a reserved judgment following a four-day jurisdiction challenge, dismissing a $3 billion claim brought by the Republic of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (FSDEA) against its former chairman, José Filomeno dos Santos.
Mr dos Santos was successfully represented by Mark Anderson QC and Steven Reed on instructions from Joseph Sutton Solicitors. Acceding to their contention that the claim should not be tried in England because it had a greater affinity with other jurisdictions, Mr Justice Popplewell dismissed the action against Mr dos Santos.
The judge had already discharged an injunction freezing Mr dos Santos’s assets, on the ground that a fair presentation of the case had not been made by lawyers acting for FSDEA when first obtaining the freezing order from Mr Justice Phillips. In the reserved judgment, he also added that there was no evidence of any risk that Mr dos Santos would dissipate his assets.
Speaking after judgment was handed down, Mark Anderson QC, Head of No5 Barristers’ Chambers, said “This claim should not have been brought, and certainly not in England. Neither was it an appropriate case for a freezing injunction. I am very pleased that Steven Reed and I were able to play our part in Joseph Sutton’s team in getting it dismissed at the very first opportunity.”