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UK High Court voids judgments amid allegations of hacking and fraud

UK High Court voids judgments amid allegations of hacking and fraud


Farhad Azima wins legal battle as High Court sets aside judgments obtained through fraud

In a dramatic turn of events in London's High Court, three judgments obtained against American aviation entrepreneur Farhad Azima have been ordered to be set aside following an eight-year legal battle.

Mr. Azima had counterclaimed against the UAE Sovereign wealth fund, RAKIA, alleging hacking and dissemination of his private data. In July 2021, he joined additional defendants, including Dechert and their former partner, Neil Gerrard. Mr. Justice Michael Green granted permission for Mr. Azima to bring a counterclaim against RAKIA in November 2022, alleging that judgments and orders obtained by fraud.

This week, Mr. Azima's order was granted, with Justice Michael Green stating that RAKIA's conduct was "egregious" and resulted in judgments obtained by fraud. This order removes all previous judgments against Mr. Azima and awards him substantial costs and damages. Additionally, injunctive relief against RAKIA requires them to remove all statements about Mr. Azima and deliver up his private data.

In 2023, the High Court awarded Mr. Azima judgment on his hacking counterclaim against RAKIA, ordering payment of more than £8.4 million in costs. Despite RAKIA's commitment to pay any court orders, they remain in default.

This week's judgment orders RAKIA to pay over £6 million in damages and costs, with further costs to be assessed. Mr. Azima intends to enforce his judgment against RAKIA and pursue his RICO claim in the U.S. against Dechert and their co-conspirators. He will also continue separate U.S. proceedings against another RAKIA adviser, alleging hacking coordination.

Mr. Azima expressed relief, stating that the UK court's decision clears his name and allows him to focus on obtaining damages via his U.S. RICO claim. His UK lawyer, Dominic Holden, praised the order for clearing Mr. Azima's name and enabling him to concentrate on seeking relief in ongoing proceedings.

The Penal Notice issued also warns RAKIA that failure to comply with the order may result in contempt of court charges against its directors or officers, potentially leading to imprisonment, fines, asset seizure, or other legal penalties.