The Facts

A former director of the Torex group of companies pursued proceedings against the group’s administrators, bankers and the purchaser claiming that the sale had been at an undervalue, that the bank and purchaser conspired by unlawful means in respect of the sale and that the administrators had been negligent in distributing the prescribed part. The administrators, bank and purchaser all applied to strike out the claims by way of summary judgment.

Claims Against Administrators

The Judge dismissed the proceedings against the administrators’ firm as no claim had been advanced. The claim against the administrators that they had acted in breach of trust in distributing monies out of an escrow account was also dismissed as was the misfeasance claim.

Claims Against Bank and Purchaser

Having dropped negligence and breach of fiduciary claims against the bank during the trial, that left the unlawful means conspiracy. The Judge found that that claim was statute-barred, but even if it wasn’t, the alleged conspiracy made no sense as the bank were doing itself out of recoveries, there was no reasonable prospect of establishing that the bidding process was a sham and that there was no prospect of establishing unlawful means or intention to injure on the facts. The Judge therefore concluded that “these proceedings should come to an end” and struck them out.

Mitchell v The Royal Bank of Scotland and others [2017] EWHC 1025 (Ch)