Case details

Almazeedi (Appellant) v Penner and another (Respondent) (Cayman Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0054

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands

Case summary

Issue(s)

Whether all of Sir Peter Cresswell’s decisions should have been set aside as he did not disclose his position as a Judge of the Qatar International Court.

Facts

The background to the appeal is the liquidation of BTU Power Company ("BTU"), a Cayman Islands Company the investors in which included a number of Qatari government entities. There was a breakdown in the relationship between the appellant (as sole director of the Company) and the company’s preference shareholders (who funded the Company’s business) which led to the liquidation of the Company. A winding-up order appointing joint official liquidators was made by The Hon. Justice Sir Peter Cresswell on 26th January 2012. The appeal concerns the alleged lack of independence and apparent bias of the tribunal at first instance, resulting from the concurrent appointments of the Judge in both the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and as a Judge of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre ("QICDRC"). Judges of the QICDRC have the terms and conditions of their appointment set by the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of its chairman, the Minister of Finance. On 26th June 2013, His Excellency Ali Shareef Al Emadi was appointed Minister of Finance. He had previously been CEO of Qatar National Bank, a 50% subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, one of the original winding-up petitioners and a significant shareholder in BTU. At the time of his appointment, he was also, through the Qatar Investment Authority of which he was chairman, still involved in the governance of a shareholder in BTU. In the appeal, the appellant alleged that he was the recipient of direct and indirect threats made by Mr Al Emadi in 2007 and 2011. The Judge had not disclosed the Qatar appointment and the appellant had only subsequently become aware of it on 20th June 2014. The Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands set aside only those of the Judge’s decisions and Orders made after June 2013 when Mr Al Emadi was appointed to the role of Minister of Finance, and not those made by the Judge before that date. The appellant appeals against the decision to only set aside the decisions and Orders made after June 2013, and the respondent cross appeals against the decision to set aside the decisions and orders at all.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Wael Almazeedi

Respondent(s)
  1. Michael Penner
  2. Stuart Sybersma

Appeal

Justices

Lord Mance, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Hughes, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

13 Dec 2017

Hearing finish date

13 Dec 2017

Watch hearing
13 Dec 2017 Morning session Afternoon session