Claim No. CFI 29/2009
THE JUDICIAL AUTHORITY OF THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
(1) SHEREEN ALDISI
(2) ESSAM HUSNI ABOUDI
(3) GHADA NABIL GOHAR MOHAMAD
(4) AFROZE HUSAIN ZUBAIRI
(5) ALI KHADER
(6) MAJDI ABU HEJLEH
(7) FAZEEL SHEIKH
(8) HASHAAM SIDDIQ
(9) NABIL HAJ ALI
(10) NOUR SALEEM
(11) AHMAD AL AQQAD
(12) NATALIE JEYNES
(13) FIRAS CHAHINE
(1) ORION HOLDING OVERSEAS LIMITED
(2) ORION CAPITAL LIMITED
(3) ORION TRADESOFT FZ-LLC
(4) ORION BROKERS DMCC (DME)
(5) ORION GLOBAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC
(6) ORION FINANCIAL FZ-LLC
1. On 1 and 4 November 2009 the Court (H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi) made interim Freezing Orders against the Respondent companies on the application of the first Applicant and twelve (12) other Applicants.
2. On 10 November 2009 the Court (Justice Sir John Chadwick) discharged the Freezing Orders and made further Orders, as follows:
(2) directing an Inquiry into damages consequent upon the discharge of the Freezing Order;
(3) restraining the first Applicant from making further applications without notice or leave from the Court;
(4) restraining the first Applicant from representing or purporting to represent any other party to the proceedings;
(6) that Respondents’ costs of the hearings of 4 and 10 November 2009 be assessed against the first and tenth (10th) Applicants on the indemnity basis and against the other Applicants on the standard basis; and
(7) that such costs be paid by the first and tenth applicants and to the extent not recovered from them, by the remaining Applicants.
2. No application for permission to appeal from the said Order was made to the Judge pursuant to RDC Parts 44.7
3. Pursuant to RDC Part 44.36(2) the time for filing notice of appeal against the said Order made on 10 November 2009 and issued on 17 November 2009 expired at latest on 6 December 2009 (as now claimed by the present Applicants).
4. By letter dated 15 December 2009 the legal representative of twelve of the Applicants (not including Ghada Nabil Gohar Mohamad, the third original Applicant) (herein “the present Applicants”) applied by letter (1) for permission to appeal from the said Order, (2) that the time for filing their notice of appeal be extended accordingly, and (3) that the time for filing Grounds of Appeal and supporting documents to be extended until 17 January 2010.
5. The present Application for permission to appeal is made pursuant to RDC Parts 44.33
Extension of time
6. The legal representative’s letter dated 15 December 2009 (paragraph 4, above) states that present Applicants were unsuccessful in retaining the professional services of a law firm until Tuesday 8 December 2009 and that a substantial period of public holidays had intervened and that the orders made against the first Applicant had caused a substantial measure of confusion amongst the Applicants as to how they should proceed.
Permission to appeal
7. The present Applicants seek to discharge in full paragraphs (2) to (7) of the Order dated 17 November 2009, to be replaced by an Order that “Each party is to bear their own costs in regards to the Hearings of 1 November 2009, 4 November 2009, 10 November 2009 and this Appeal Hearing.”
Subsequent application by Respondents
8. On 10 January 2010 by Application No.03/10 Respondents opposed Claimants’ applications (above) and further sought an order for interim payment of their costs by the first Applicant (Ms Aldisi) and the tenth Applicant (Mr Saleem) in the sum of US$62,553.70 said to be one-half of the costs (to be assessed) of the Respondents.
9. Respondents filed a skeleton argument dated 10 January 2010 in support of their said cross-application.
10. Claimants filed a skeleton argument opposing the said cross-application (though dated 9 January 2010).
11. Claimants’ application for permission to appeal is REFUSED. The Judge made Costs Orders and restrained the first Applicant from representing other parties etc. in the exercise of his discretion. No grounds are shown for suggesting that the discretion was wrongly exercised or that the Orders are clearly wrong. In any event –
12. Claimants’ application for an extension of time is REFUSED. If the present Applicant’s legal representatives are correct, and the time for appeal continued until 6 December 2009, they had ample time to find legal representation by that date. Failing which, they could and should have notified the Court of their intention to do so and to appeal, if so advised.
13. Respondents’ cross-application for an interim payment on account of costs is REFUSED. The assessment ordered on 10 November 2009 is proceeding and no grounds are shown on which the Court should interfere with that process.
14. I consider the application for permission to appeal to be wholly without merit and pursuant to RDC Part 44.16 I ORDER that the present Applicants may not request an oral hearing for my decision to be reconsidered.
15. I further ORDER that the present Applicants and the Respondents shall each bear their own costs of and incurred in connection with the present Application and Cross-Application.
16. The Respondent’s suggested application for a wasted costs order under RDC Part 38.84 is REFUSED.
Sir Anthony Evans
Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts
Date of Issue: 8 February 2010