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Economic Torts and Unjust Enrichment

1 August 2013

Maruti Holdings PTE Limited v Sinclair Strategies Limited and others BVIHC (Com) 2012/0130

Harneys successfully applied to set aside service of a US$21 million claim brought in the BVI against a professional corporate services provider based in Guernsey. The claim alleged a series of economic torts (intimidation, duress, conspiracy) and unjust enrichment.

The application succeeded on the basis that the claimant did not have a good cause of action against the defendants, of which the Guernsey service provider was one. The claimant had argued that the defendants intended to harm a third party, Mr. O and/or Mr. O’s “economic interests”, of which the claimant formed a part. On that basis the claimant said it had a cause of action against the defendants in tort.

The defendants successfully argued that where it was not alleged that they had intended to harm the claimant itself directly, the claimant had no cause of action. The Court accepted this view.

The Court also found that even if the defendants had committed the alleged torts against Mr. O, the claim would still have failed because the defendants had not been unjustly enriched at the expense of the claimant. The claimant might have some form of claim against Mr. O but there was no restitutionary claim available to the claimant against the defendants.

For more information please contact Richard Brown: Richard.brown@harneys.com