HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial litigationDefending the chairman and CEO of a Dubai based company against a freezing injunction and bankruptcy petition

Why the client needed our help

Our client was the chairman and CEO of a Dubai based company which, at one point, had over 800 employees. A dispute had arisen with another company over monies allegedly due and owing to it and whether our client had signed a personal guarantee in relation to these sums (circa £3 – 4 million). A worldwide freezing injunction was issued alongside a UK bankruptcy petition.

The client’s position was that he had not signed the underlying company agreement or the personal guarantee and that, unfortunately, this was signed in his absence (by an employee) while he was in the USA receiving medical treatment.

Our client owned property (and a number of other assets) in the UK and so a bankruptcy petition threatened his interests. The freezing injunction meant that he was unable to deal with his property as he saw fit and so he needed our assistance in presenting his defence to both sets of litigation.

How we helped

We acted for the client in relation to both sets of proceedings and successfully obtained a discharge of the freezing injunction and a dismissal of the bankruptcy petition – we successfully argued that the underlying debt was clearly disputed and, as such, a Part 7 claim should have been issued against the client in circumstances where the company wished to pursue him under the purported personal guarantee.

We argued that pursing our client under the insolvency / bankruptcy route was an abuse of process. Costs were reserved. A part 7 claim was then issued against the client and this was discontinued following a successful mediation.

The outcome

We settled the matter for our client on favourable terms.  It was an incredibly stressful time for the him but we got him to a position of resolving the dispute and getting back on his feet in terms of his business and personal life.

If there was ever a star rating for law firms, Francis Wilks & Jones would score five stars plus. Professional and pro-active, they were able to understand my problem quickly, provide expert advice, outline a solution and put it into place with a successful outcome. I should have gone to them sooner.

A client we helped successfully defend a claim against him

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Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


Andy Wilks

Andy Wilks

Managing Partner

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