Michael Brindle QC appeared for the successful appellant, Bank Mellat, in the recent 9 Justice Supreme Court appeal. The Supreme Court has quashed the Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2009. The Order had prevented the Bank from doing business in the UK on the basis that the Bank might, despite its best efforts, be unable to prevent its facilities from being used to further the Iranian nuclear programme. The case featured the first ‘closed’hearing in the Supreme Court.
Writing the leading judgment for the majority, Lord Sumption held that the Order was irrational and unjustifiable as it singled out the Bank even though it posed no more risk than other Iranian financial institutions, and procedurally defective – because the Bank was given no opportunity to make representations to the Treasury before the order was made.
In a separate judgment, Lord Neuberger (writing for a bare majority of justices) held that the Supreme Court had the power to adopt a closed material procedure if necessary to do justice on an appeal, but hoped that this was a power thatwould rarely be used.
Mr Brindle was instructed by Zaiwalla & Co.