A judgment on what is thought to be the largest civil case in Guernsey’s history handed down on 4 September by the island’s Royal Court cleared Carlyle Capital Corporation, a Guernsey investment fund that went into insolvency in the wake of the financial crash in 2008, of liability over its collapse.
The Carlyle Group, Carlyle Investment Management and TCGH, successfully defended claims including that its management of a Guernsey fund was in breach of duties alleged to be owed to it that led to total investment losses in the 2008 financial crisis.
Together with The Carlyle Group companies, the Royal Court’s judgment also dismissed all claims considered at trial against each of its seven executive and non-executive directors.
The case, which is valued at well over £1 billion, involved a trial that ran just short of six months, and encompassed 971 pages of pleadings, 187 pleaded breaches of duty, 48 days of cross examination of both fact and expert witnesses, and culminated in a 525-page judgment handed down by Her Honour Hazel Marshall QC, Lieutenant Bailiff, sitting alone. We understand it to be the biggest trial that took place across the Commonwealth in 2016.
The scale of the case underlines not just Guernsey’s position as one of the world’s largest offshore finance centres, but also as a venue capable of handling the most complex and demanding funds litigation cases. Three particular reasons stand out.