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The High Court on 20 June 2019 handed down judgment in Magdeev v Tsvetkov [2019] EWHC 1557, ordering that the claim in conspiracy made against the First Additional Party be struck out.

The Claimant had claimed sums in debt against the Defendant. The Defendant had, in response, counterclaimed against the Claimant and the First Additional Party in conspiracy. The Defendant alleged that the Claimant and First Additional Party had conspired together to cause damage to the Defendant’s business, which in turn caused any liability which the Defendant might have to the Claimant. All those allegations were denied. The business in question was principally a franchise of Graff Diamonds in Cyprus, ultimately operated by Russian investors. The claim had attracted wide press interest.

In an important judgment the Court struck out the claim against the First Additional Party, finding that the claim had no realistic prospect of success, on two separate Grounds. First, if the conspiracy was made out, the claim made by the Claimant against the Defendant would fail for set off or circuity of action. Since the only loss claimed was the amount of any liability which the Defendant might have to the Claimant, there were as such no circumstances in which the Defendant could have suffered any loss which he could recover from the First Additional Party. Second, the losses sought by the Defendant (as well as additional heads of loss sought by way of amendment) were barred by the rule against reflective loss. Picken J exercised his discretion to strike out the claim on that basis, notwithstanding that the Supreme Court may alter the law on reflective loss in its forthcoming judgment in the case of Marex v Sevilleja.

The First Additional Party was represented by Robert Anderson QC and Harry Adamson.

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