News release

Decade-long Saad litigation settled between AHAB and Grant Thornton Defendants

After more than eleven years of litigation, Grant Thornton’s Hugh Dickson and Mark Byers are pleased to announce that Saad Investments Company Limited (SICL) and eight other entities also being liquidated by them have reached a confidential settlement with AHAB which results in their release from the AHAB v. Saad Investments and Others proceedings in the Cayman Islands. The proceedings continue against the other Defendants in the case.

AHAB commenced its multi-billion dollar claim in the Cayman Islands in July 2009. The matter eventually came to trial in June 2016 and lasted for more than a year. In a judgment of over 1,300 pages, which was handed down in May 2018, the court dismissed all of AHAB's claims against SICL and the other Grant Thornton Defendants (a summary and commentary on this judgment can be found here).

AHAB appealed that judgment and its appeal was heard in May and June 2019. No judgment in the appeal has been delivered, and the parties would have an automatic right to a further appeal to the Privy Council once judgment is handed down.

The settlement brings to an end the long wait for certainty in the matter for the Grant Thornton Defendants, who will play no further part in the proceedings.

Hugh Dickson, liquidator and Global Head of Recovery & Reorganisation for Grant Thornton commented “The liquidators consider that settlement of AHAB’s claims is a positive step towards the orderly resolution of the SICL and other estates. There are a number of material issues which remain to be resolved but they can now be progressed without the risk, however small, that the fruits of those actions might be substantially diluted by AHAB succeeding on appeal. Most importantly, the substantial recoveries made by the liquidators over the last eleven years can now begin to flow to the creditors.”

Now that a court ordered block on distributions to creditors, related to AHAB’s claim, has been removed, the liquidators are able to consider an initial payment to creditors, who, across all of the liquidation estates, are owed in excess of $4 billion.

The liquidators have been advised throughout the proceedings by Walkers in the Cayman Islands and Linklaters in England.