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Raiffeisen Bank International AG v (1) Asia Coal Energy Ventures Limited and (2) Ashurst LLP

In the recent decision of Raiffeisen Bank International AG v (1) Asia Coal Energy Ventures Limited and (2) Ashurst LLP [2020] EWHC 2602 (Comm), Moulder J dismissed all claims against the defendants arising from the sale by Raiffeisen Bank International (“RBI”) of a portfolio of defaulted loans and security to the First Defendant, Asia Coal Energy Ventures (“ACE”). Ashurst, the Second Defendant, had acted for the funder of the transaction and had provided a Solicitor’s Confirmation pursuant to which Ashurst confirmed it held $85 million which was to be transferred to an escrow agent upon the signing of an escrow agreement. A dispute arose between RBI and ACE over the security rights held by RBI, the escrow agreement was never signed and ACE refused to pay the purchase price. RBI sued ACE for specific performance and also made various claims against Ashurst under the Solicitor’s Confirmation. The majority of the claims brought against Ashurst were abandoned by RBI following cross-examination of the witnesses. The Judge held that ACE was entitled to rescind the SPA because RBI had made pre-contractual misrepresentations as to the security rights it held. The Judge also dismissed all the claims against Ashurst.

David Wolfson QC and Adam Rushworth acted for Ashurst at trial. Michael Watkins acted for Ashurst earlier in the proceedings.  You can view the full Judgment here.