Manolete’s long running, multi-million pound claim against Hastings Borough Council is to be heard in the Supreme Court. Having purchased this case from Stylus Sports Ltd (In Liquidation) in January 2012, this case is the longest running by far in our portfolio of over 100 insolvency litigation cases. In 2013 we successfully won in the Technology and Construction Court . In 2014, we won a unanimous decision in the Court of Appeal, before Lord Justice Jackson and two other senior Court of Appeal judges. The case now goes to the Supreme Court – we await the hearing date.
Whilst the vast majority of our cases settle on sensible commercial terms within 6-12 months, Manolete Partners is always fully committed to take any of our cases through the entire legal process, if and when necessary. In some instances claims against Directors have ended in Bankruptcy Hearings – only then do we ultimately find out whether company funds have been secretly hidden from the reach of long-suffering creditors. In almost all of those such cases the debtor “miraculously” unearths assets to settle our claims at the last moment. Sadly by that stage, he/she will have incurred very large personal legal costs in taking us to such lengths, which only adds to the debtor’s costs of settling the full claim. Manolete’s own costs would have been unnecessarily increased by the extended process, meaning we will demand a higher settlement to cover our own costs. An earlier sensible, commercial settlement would have very materially benefitted the debtor. Thankfully where the debtor employs good legal advisors, they will often be advised to approach us quite early in the process. They understand that we are not looking to punish the debtor – we simply want to secure a sensible return to the insolvent estate. The sooner that can be done, the cheaper the process and the quicker everyone involved can move on.
Whenever our Investment Committee approves a case investment (purchase or funding) we always do so on the assumption that the case will go “all the way” to trial. In our 5 year history, across 101 insolvency litigation cases, we have never lost a single case and have never paid a single penny of our opponents’ costs. Nor have we ever had to call on an ATE policy (which we use rarely given our win ratio and the usual speed of settlement). Our opponent’s own costs, high ATE premiums and CFA fees inflated by high uplifts are usually barriers to fast and effective settlements. Managing the litigation process in our unique way, is a more cost effective and commercial route and results in the maximum compensation for the insolvent estate.