A construction magnate has largely failed with a $1.75m professional negligence claim brought against his legal advisers over an investment scheme.

Riad Tawfiq Al Sadik, who made $327m from selling shares in his own engineering and construction company, agreed the scheme with Investcorp in 2008. He claimed the company had guaranteed him a return of 45% on the investment over a three-year period. Investcorp denied this.

Sadik lost before the Cayman courts and again in the Privy Council. He then brought a claim in the London Commercial Court against his legal team, which comprised Clyde & Co, Harney Westood & Riegels, and counsel. 

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Sadik lost before the Cayman courts

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Sadik argued that the parties - except Clyde & Co - had failed to advise him to make a reamendment application in time, on the basis that the application would then have succeeded. But Sean O’Sullivan KC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, concluded the claimant had no real prospect of showing there was a real chance of achieving a settlement if the reamendments had not been disallowed for being too late.

‘If Investcorp was not interested in settling the existing claims, the new claims were not going to make any material difference to its position,’ the judge said.

Sadik also sued in relation to advice from Clydes and leading counsel, which he said failed to warn him of the possibility of an anti-suit injunction after he lost in the Privy Council and sought to relitigate the Investcorp claim in Dubai. Excepting a relatively small claim against Clydes in relation to the anti-suit injunction, O’Sullivan dismissed the claims.

The claim against Clydes was ruled to have a real prospect of success and must therefore go to trial, the judge ruled.

In a commentary on the case, Brick Court Chambers noted that the judgment reviews the law in relation to s.14A of the Limitation Act 1980, and also addresses the circumstances in which a lawyer may be subject to a continuing duty to advise which puts off the accrual of limitation.