High Court success for Kingsley Napley client in protracted pension fund civil fraud case

by | May 23, 2023

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Bribery claims by liquidator against former pension fund managers upheld. Kingsley Napley is pleased to have advised the liquidator of Trafalgar Multi Asset Trading Company Limited on its recent High Court success to assist in the recovery of assets unlawfully misappropriated from British pensioners.

The decision in Trafalgar Multi Asset Trading Co. Ltd (In Liquidation) vs James Hadley & Others [case number BL-2020-000294] was handed down on Friday (19th May), building on a 2022 Court of Appeal decision in liquidator DM Financial’s favour which recognised bribery claims against James Hadley the former promoter of the fund, as well as Bentley Thwaite and Platinum Pyramid Limited who were connected to transactions involving the fund. (Kingsley Napley also advised on that earlier claim at first instance and in the Court of Appeal.)

The latest decision means judgments were obtained against Stuart Chapman-Clark (also known as Stuart Grehan), Mark Lloyd, Pinnacle Brokers Limited and CGrowth Capital Bond Limited in relation to dishonest assistance, unconscionable receipt and conspiracy to injure by unlawful means and against James Hadley in breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.


There was also a finding of vicarious liability for bribery against CGrowth Capital Bond Limited. Mr Nicholas Thompsell, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court commented in the judgment that the arrangements between the parties who established Trafalgar were “so rife with illegality and other types of unlawfulness, that one hardly knows where to begin.”

Trafalgar Multi Asset Trading Co. Ltd was a Cayman Islands based fund with around £21m assets under management before it went into liquidation in early 2017.

Stephen Doran of DM Financial comments:


“We have been pursuing legal action against the former asset manager and recipients of Trafalgar’s funds since 2018 alleging that some £19m of pension fund investments were diverted by them under an unlawful and elaborate scheme. We were successful in the majority of causes of action in our latest claim and will continue our efforts on an international basis to maximise recovery for the fund and its ultimate UK pensioner beneficiaries.”

In Friday’s judgment Deputy Judge Mr Nicholas Thompsell expressed his sympathy for the pensioners who had suffered loss as a result of their investment in Trafalgar and his hope that there would be swift settlement from the Defendants. 

Kingsley Napley Dispute Resolution partners Sue Thackeray and Mary Young advised DM Financial. Justin Higgo KC of Serle Court was their lead counsel and Belinda McRae was junior counsel.  


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