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(1) Irene Michailidis (2) Jonathan Guy Phillips v Credit Agricole Indosuez

Thursday 6 March 2014

Supreme Court of Gibraltar – 6th March 2014

Credit Agricole received funds from Robin Symes a well-known London art dealer.  These funds represented the proceeds of sale of a collection of furniture stolen in 2000 by him from the heirs to his lover’s estate.  The bank was sued for knowingly assisting a breach of trust, knowing receipt and a proprietary claim.  The bank succeeded in defending all the claims at first instance.

Aon appeal that the Court of Appeal held that the bank was on notice as to some impropriety as the funds were used to secure a back to back loan.  The judge at first instance held that the arrangement was a common arrangement and, in effect, there was nothing unusual about it.

The issue before the Privy council is whether the Court of Appeal were correct to hold that the bank was on notice as to impropriety which the bank contends must be notice of something  which  indicated that there might be a third party interest in the monies – a point the Court of Appeal over looked.  The Court of Appeal also over looked the fact that the judge at first instance had found there was nothing unusual about the transaction.