Preserving Assets: Full Time Whistle for the Siskina?

On Friday 29th June 2018, Mr Justice Fancourt gave judgment in an application to preserve an asset which is the subject matter of hard fought commercial litigation, the Championship football club Sheffield United.

Sheffield United is ultimately owned by a holding company, Blades Leisure Limited, which is the subject of an ownership dispute in the High Court between its present joint owners: property multi-millionaires the McCabe Family and His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz AI Saud.  The proceedings include applications for specific performance of a share transfer agreement and counter applications for a buy-out order under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.

In the meantime Sheffield United is loss-making and in need of potential investment of up to £10m to survive.  The McCabe family and Prince Abdullah were unable to agree as to how this money was to be injected into the company and so an application was made for a mandatory order requiring the Prince’s company, UTB LLC, to pay sums into Blades to keep it afloat.

The application was unusual because there was no claim for final relief in the form of the interim order sought.  Thus the scope and application of the House of Lords decision in the Siskina fell to be considered.

In finding that the Court did have jurisdiction under CPR 25 the Judge disagreed with Mr Justice Coulson’s interpretation of CPR 25 in relation to the meaning of the word “property” in Sports Network Ltd. v. Calzaghe [2008] EWHC 2566, where the Court held that “property” did not include intangibles such as money claimed in the litigation.  The Judge also found that there was no bar to the Court making a mandatory order which went beyond a respondents’ strict legal duties and would be prepared to order a respondent to incur expenditure if the circumstances were right.

This seminar will consider the scope of the Siskina doctrine in the light of this case and the recent Supreme Court decision in Cartier v British Telecommunications [2018] UKSC 28 and ask whether Siskina represents the present law with regard to the power of the Court to grant interim relief.

Seminar - 25 July

Registration - 5.45pm
Seminar - 6.15pm
Reception - 7.15pm

Paul Downes QC 

Paul’s practice covers general commercial law, including sports and media law, and banking and finance.  Paul is acting for Sheffield United Limited in the above case and has extensive experience in company/shareholder disputes.  Paul acted for Paul Di Resta in the Formula 1 dispute with Anthony Hamilton and is also acting for West Ham United in its dispute with the operators of the London Stadium which comes to trial in November this year.

> view Paul's full profile

Robert-Jan Temmink QC (Chair)

Robert is widely-recognised as a talented advocate and is listed as a leading practitioner in commercial dispute resolution, amongst other things, in the legal directories.  His practice is broad - ranging from commercial litigation and arbitration and chancery work, involving shareholder disputes, receiverships and corporate insolvency in the UK and abroad.   

> view Robert's full profile

Emily Saunderson

Emily practices in general commercial law with a particular emphasis on banking and finance and company/insolvency related disputes.  Emily is junior counsel acting for Sheffield United Limited in the above dispute.

> view Emily's full profile