Injunctions against “Persons Unknown”: The High Court flags uncertain territory

An increasingly important tool available to victims of fraud is the civil court procedure under which an action can be commenced and injunctions obtained against defendants who are identified only as “Persons Unknown”, described only by reference to their conduct in connection with the wrongdoing. Previously used only in niche areas, such orders have recently … Read more

Court of Appeal considers damages for deceit in the context of contractual warranties

A recent Court of Appeal decision is a useful reminder of the principles the court will apply when assessing damages for deceit / fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of corporate acquisitions and other asset purchases: MDW Holdings Limited v James Robert Norvill, Jane Rosemary Norvill and Stephen John Norvill [2022] EWCA Civ 883. The decision illustrates … Read more

Crypto fraud: High Court decision on tracing and enforcing against cryptoassets

The High Court has granted the first third-party debt order in relation to cryptocurrency in an application involving allegations of fraud related to a cryptocurrency initial coin offering.  A third-party debt order (formerly known as a garnishee order) is a method of enforcing a money judgment by recovering sums that are in the hands of … Read more

Claimants “substantially succeed” in the largest ever English civil fraud trial

The High Court has published a summary of its findings on liability in the long-running USD$5 billion civil fraud action brought by the Hewlett Packard group in connection with its acquisition of the UK software company Autonomy Corporation Limited (“Autonomy”) in 2012.  The claimants have “substantially succeeded” in their claims against two former Autonomy executives: … Read more

Court of Appeal rejects novel argument that fraud victims should give credit for the “time value” of cash received as part of a fraudulent transaction

In the context of a claim by a fraud victim seeking damages for consequential loss of investment opportunity, the Court of Appeal has rejected an argument by the fraudster that the victim was obliged to give credit not only for the cash they received as part of the relevant fraudulent transactions, but also for the … Read more

High Court finds settlement agreement released unknown fraud claims despite absence of express words covering fraud

The High Court has interpreted the contractual release in a settlement agreement as extending to unknown claims based on dishonesty and fraud, despite the terms of the release not expressly referring to such claims. The claimant was therefore precluded from pursuing further claims alleging deliberate wrongdoing following the receipt of what it said was new … Read more