British Businessman vs Brunei Royal Family Members or CBTL Holdings vs Smart Plus Investment Holdings

Our last discussion was about the lawsuit which took place in the High Court of the British Virgin Islands and became widely known in the business and offshore community due to the loud names of the claimant and sued persons and due to the large sum of money claimed.

It could be interesting to see the development of the whole lawsuit story.

Mark Burby, a British businessman, which had an investment agreement with the Brunei’s family members, alleged that Pengiran Ayub and his wife Damit repeatedly reneged on their promises to pass the money.

First, he tried to sue them personally in Singapore – the place where most negotiations took place. However, the decision of the court was in favour of the Pengirans, based on the fact that the agreement was the matter between companies and not between individuals.

After that, the proceedings were launched by CBTL Holdings against Smart Plus Investment Holdings, the BVI offshore company belonging to the Pengirans. Final decision was made by the BVI High Court and it was in favor of the British businessman. The story has not finished yet and continues with company liquidation procedure.

This court dispute is the latest legal case which involves the members of the family of Brunei’s Sultan, – one of the world’s richest personalities, whose fortune is estimated at £12.4 billion. The Sultan is planning to visit Britain next month, and he has been already asked to intervene in the case with coffee chain launch where his family members are in the role of respondents.

It should be noted that Brunei itself is also an offshore jurisdiction, although not as popular as BVI. However, offshore IBC’s can be registered there, based on International Business Company Order, 2000 (IBC O).

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