CASE STUDIES| NEWS FROM THE COURTS THIS WEEK

SHARE-RAMPING BAN UPHELD
The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) has upheld the decision of the FSA to fine and issue a prohibition notice to a stockbroker involved in a share-ramping scheme. Graham Betton had 30 years experience and was the managing director of his firm. The scheme involved unauthorised trading of his clients’ accounts and the use of roll-overs to artificially inflate demand for the AIM-listed shares and thus their value. The tribunal held that although Betton was not a co-conspirator, his knowledge of it, coupled with his position in the firm, justified the prohibition and financial penalty.

SYRIAN VS ENGLISH LAW
British Arab Commercial Bank issued proceedings against China’s Bank of Communications and the Central Bank of Syria to determine the respective positions on counter-guarantees between them in relation to a construction project. The High Court had to decide whether English or Syrian law governed their agreements. It held that Syrian law was applicable because the factors connecting the dispute with Syria were stronger, disregarding the presumption of English law. It also held that, under Syrian law, neither BACB nor CBS was liable under the guarantees or counter-guarantees.

DIRECTOR?BAN?OVERTURNED
The Upper Tribunal has decided that a person whom the FSA had deemed not a “fit and proper person” can become a company director. The FSA said Mandeep Panesar lacked competency and capability to comply with the regulatory requirements. This related to his previous involvement with the company. Panesar appealed and the tribunal found that there was no doubt as to his honesty, integrity and reputation.