The Claimants issued claims alleging that John Richmond, a fashion designer, had breached his fiduciary duties owed as director of Akkurate, having purchased trademarks from the Akkurate’s liquidators whilst failing to disclose his secret interest in the purchasing entity. Mark Schofield is alleged to have dishonestly assisted Mr Richmond breach his duties. The Claimants also allege unlawful means conspiracy, and fraudulent misrepresentation against Mr Richmond in respect of a settlement of certain claims in 2019.
On 28 September 2023, Freedman J handed down judgment dismissing the Defendants’ interim applications to strike out the claims or obtain reverse summary judgment.
The judgment addresses, among other things:
- The inappropriateness of issuing strike out or summary judgment applications which seek determinations of issues of fact where a hearing would be very lengthy (in this case, 5 days) and where the explanations given by the Defendants in their evidence apparently conflicted with the terms of numerous contemporaneous documents.
- The law on fiduciary duties, and the circumstances in which a director might continue to owe fiduciary duties after a compulsory winding up order is made.
- The law on contractual construction, with particular regard to assessing the scope of a settlement agreement and compromise of claims brought within an earlier insolvency application.
- The law on dishonest assistance, unlawful means conspiracy, and fraudulent misrepresentation (in particular, reliance).
A link to the judgment can be found here.