Tchenguiz wins UK ruling on Kaupthing

Elizabeth Fournier
THE Tchenguiz family has won the right to have a damages claim against Icelandic bank Kaupthing heard in the UK courts, after a judge determined that claim, worth more than £1bn, was subject to English law.

Property investment tycoon brothers Robert and Vincent (pictured) Tchenguiz, who were arrested on 9 March as part of a fraud investigation into Kaupthing’s collapse, will now have the merits of their damages claim heard in the English High Court, upholding a jurisdictional clause in the original loan agreement with the bank.

The Icelandic lender, taken under state control in October 2008, had tried to have the claim dismissed from the UK system, leaving a separate claim to be filed as part of administration procedures in Iceland.

A statement released on behalf of Consensus Business Group, of which Vincent Tchenguiz is chairman, said: “I am delighted that the English High Court has recognised the right of the claimants to bring their claim in England. All dealings with Kaupthing Bank were conducted in England under English law … The substantive claim for damages of over £1bn will now proceed in the English courts.”

The family’s trust is also pursuing Kaupthing in Reykjavik court, as part of the bank’s winding up procedure under the Icelandic administration regime.

The Tchenguiz brothers were released without charge last week as part of an ongoing investigation into the Icelandic bank’s downfall.