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Robert Tchenguiz abandons conspiracy claim against Grant Thornton on fourth day of trial


Robert Tchenguiz has discontinued his claim against Grant Thornton on the fourth day of trial in the Commercial Court.

The claim alleged that two Grant Thornton partners had conspired with an Icelandic lawyer to feed false information to the SFO in the course of its investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing, an Icelandic bank. Robert Tchenguiz and his brother, Vincent, were amongst a number of suspects arrested in highly-publicised raids in 2011 but never charged with criminal offences. Both Tchenguiz brothers brought damages claims against the SFO following the termination of its investigation in 2012. Those claims were settled in 2014.

In 2015 the Tchenguiz brothers brought proceedings against Grant Thornton, alleging that its partners had engaged in an elaborate conspiracy to make fraudulent representations to the SFO and seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in damages. Vincent Tchenguiz’s claim was summarily dismissed in 2016. Robert Tchenguiz’s claim was pursued to trial but, shortly before the claimants’ witnesses were due to give evidence, all allegations against the defendants were withdrawn and the claim was discontinued in its entirety.

The claimants will pay the defendants’ costs on the indemnity basis. Mr Justice Knowles took the unusual step of recording that the Court treated the defendants’ witness evidence as “the truth”; that “every defendant and every witness for the defendants leaves this court […] with their reputation completely intact”; and that “in practice the allegations against the defendants have completely failed”.

He further recorded that “each claimant, including Mr Robert Tchenguiz, owes each defendant an apology for this litigation”.

Andrew McIntyre appeared for the Grant Thornton defendants, instructed by Simmons & Simmons.