On 10 January 2023, HHJ Keyser KC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) awarded indemnity costs to the successful defendants on the grounds of the Claimant’s dishonesty, the weakness of the Claim and the aggressiveness with which the Claimant pursued unfounded allegations of fraud.
The decision followed the handing down of the trial judgment Evans v Muxworthy & Anor  EWHC 2866 (Comm) on 11 November 2022.
The substantive dispute concerned a joint venture agreement for the purchase and prospective redevelopment of valuable land in Swansea worth over £3m. The Claims involved 2 elements: Firstly, that the Defendants failed to advise the Claimant he could challenge the appointment of administrators, thus avoiding the need to purchase the land; secondly, that the Defendants had defrauded him out of a 50% share in the land by breaching various oral agreements.
The judgment found that the Claimant’s claim was pleaded and advanced dishonestly. He failed in establishing a duty of care, that the agreements were as he asserted, that the Defendants had breached any duty of care or contractual arrangement, and causation.
Barnaby Hope appeared for the First Defendant, instructed by Andrew Olins of IBB Law.