Mr Al Sadik is a high-net-worth individual who lost money investing large sums with Investcorp BSC during the Global Financial Crisis of 2009. In 2012 he sued Investcorp in the Cayman Islands, claiming approximately $200 million and alleging (amongst other things) fraud and dishonesty in Investcorp’s dealings with him and contending that they had promised him a guaranteed return. He was unsuccessful (against a counsel team from Fountain Court Chambers) before the Cayman court in 2012, in the Cayman Court of Appeal in 2016, and again in the Privy Council in 2018.

Thereafter, he brought a claim in the English Commercial Court against his legal team for the Investcorp claim, which comprised Clyde & Co LLP (“Clyde & Co”), Harney Westood & Riegels (“Harneys”) and Leading and Junior Counsel. Mr Al Sadik’s primary contention was that, shortly before the trial of the Investcorp claim, proposed re-amendments to his claim had been disallowed because they had been applied for too late. He alleged that his legal team had been negligent in not pursuing the re-amendments earlier and that, had he been able to pursue them, he would have gone on to succeed at trial in claims against Investcorp for, amongst other things: (i) unjust enrichment; (ii) breach of trust, and (iii) a breach of a duty of prudence.

Deputy Judge Sean O’Sullivan KC heard applications for reverse summary judgment over five days (in respect of all defendants) along with a preliminary issue on limitation defences (in respect of Harneys and Counsel only). He granted the defendants’ applications for reverse summary judgment on all of Mr Al Sadik’s claims (save for a  small separate c.$1.7 million claim against Clyde & Co), holding that even if Mr Al Sadik had obtained leave to re-amend the Investcorp claim, this would not have affected the outcome at trial where in the light of subsequent events the claims would “inevitably have failed”, such that the prospects of Mr Al Sadik succeeding were, variously “effectively zero” or “a fraction of a percentage point”. In addition, the Judge held that the claims relating to the re-amendments against Harneys and Counsel were in any event time barred.

The judgment in Riad Tawfiq Al Sadik v Clyde & Co & Ors [2024] EWHC 818 (Comm) contains an interesting and considered application of loss of chance principles in the context of the conduct of a complex litigation, as well as a review of the law in relation to s.14A of the Limitation Act 1980 and continuing duties.

Daniel Edmonds (led by Ian Croxford of Wilberforce Chambers) was instructed on behalf of Clyde & Co and instructed by Nick Bird, Cheryl Laird, and Georgia Durham of RPC.  The judgment is available here.