Case details

Pickle Properties Ltd (Appellant) v Plant (Respondent) (British Virgin Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0052

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the British Virgin Islands

Case summary

Issue

(i) The Fair Trial point: whether Pickle Properties Ltd ("Pickle") was deprived of a fair trial, such that a re-trial should be ordered.

(ii) The Contribution point:
a. Whether Mr Plant had disentitled himself to the right of contribution in equity against Pickle.
b. Whether Mr Sharp was acting on behalf of Pickle when entering the agreement to share the liability under the guarantee equally with Mr Plant, such that Pickle was bound by that agreement.

Facts

Pickle and Mr Plant had provided a joint and several guarantee to a bank in support of the advancement of a loan of £4.25 million to Newmarket Properties (Guernsey) Limited. The guarantee was capped at £500,000 plus interest. The security granted in support of the loan also included a legal charge in respect of two properties owned by the borrower. When the borrower failed to repay the loan, the bank enforced its security by pursuing the sale of the properties. The properties were sold for £475,000 to two companies in which Mr Plant held an interest. The bank then demanded payment under the guarantees from Pickle and Mr Plant. Pickle ignored the bank’s claim. Mr Plant disputed certain of the sums demanded and ultimately paid £625,000 to the bank in settlement of its claim. Mr Sharp, who was the agent of a trust for the benefit of his family which owned Pickle’s shares, was aware of the key facts at the relevant times, including Mr Plant’s interest in purchasing the properties, and had declined an invitation to participate in the purchase himself.

Mr Plant brought a claim seeking a contribution from Pickle towards one half of the settlement sum paid to the bank, plus legal costs and interest. The trial judge found in favour of Mr Plant and awarded relief. Pickle’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. Pickle now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Pickle Properties Ltd

Respondent(s)

Plant

Appeal

Justices

Lord Hodge, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens

Hearing start date

14 Jan 2021

Hearing finish date

14 Jan 2021

Watch hearing
14 Jan 2021 Morning session
 

Judgment details

Judgment date

29 Mar 2021

Neutral citation

[2021] UKPC 6