FBME Shareholders win legal battle against private investigators

26 June 2019

 We are pleased to announce that we have won our UK High Court battle against Nigel Brown, Alec Leighton and their respective investigation companies. The case, which concerned the investigators’ flagrant breach of express confidentiality, also went to the heart of the false allegations which have since been perpetuated by the media, based on affidavits drafted only to serve the investigators’ commercial aims.

The court case revealed that DLA Piper, the lawyers acting for the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), assisted Mr. Brown and Mr. Leighton in preparing the affidavits.  The affidavits were clearly intended to cause as much damage to FBME as possible, in order to justify the CBC’s precipitous actions in resolving the bank.

In her Judgment, Justice Cockerill remarked upon Mr. Brown’s tendency “to jump to conclusions on an insufficient basis” and that the conclusions he did reach were “premature and speculative”. She said that his evidence smacked of “ex post facto revisionism”.

The Judge also commented as follows: “Essentially the Defendants looked to base their case…on Mr. Brown’s subjective beliefs, which were recorded in his statement and which he gave again in his oral evidence. The problem is that these beliefs were not supported by any evidence base.”

Despite the investigators’ arguments to the contrary, Justice Cockerill comprehensively held that the investigators’ disclosures of confidential information to regulators (including the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC)), lawyers and a journalist were not in the public interest, nor were they made under compulsion of law.

The investigators also made disclosures to the Cyprus police which were used to justify numerous raids on the bank. We will seek redress against them and others who worked to harm FBME and its depositors.

The findings by the Judge should finally put to bed the unfounded suggestions in the media that the investigators’ affidavits were a credible source of information relating to the Bank or the Saabs.

We are pleased with the Judge’s findings and will continue to fight to return depositors their money, which has been unjustly withheld for more than five years, and to clear our name and the Bank’s name of any wrongdoing.

This Judgment was covered by Global Investigations Review, the Global Legal Chronicle and The Citizen.