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James-Barclay-Watt (claimant/respondent) & ors v Alpha Panareti Public Ltd (1st defendant/appellant) & ors

Tuesday 26th – Wednesday 27th July 2022

By Appellant’s Notice filed on 20 July 2021, the Appellant, Alpha Panareti Public Limited, D1 below, challenges the order of Sir Michael Burton GBE, sitting as a Judge of the High Court, dated 8 June 2021, by which he gave judgment for the Claimants/Respondents against D1, with damages to be assessed.

The proceedings below constituted a 29 day hearing of eight sample claims, in respect of 280 such claims against D1 (a builder and developer) and its managing director Andreas Ioannou (D2). During the relevant period (2005-2007) D1 sold apartments and villas in Cyprus off-plan to the Claimants. D1 made arrangements with two companies to promote such sales, which the one did by means of their own or sub-contracted salesmen. The properties were presented to the Claimants as buy-to-let investments, which the Claimants largely funded by loans from Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd (ABC). The loans were made in Swiss francs. The case made by each Claimant was that by the time the repayment instalments fell due, the Swiss franc had appreciated against sterling to a sufficient extent as to make their buy-to-let investments uneconomic. They claimed damages against D1 and D2 for misrepresentation and negligent advice (any claims for breach of contract having been assigned to ABC), and seek to recover the monies they have paid out, their reservation fees and deposits paid to D1, the sums that they have paid to ABC and other out of pocket expenses.

By a judgment dated 26 February 2021, Sir Michael Burton GBE, sitting as a Judge of the High Court, concluded that English law was the proper law of the torts alleged. By the judgment of 8 June 2021, the judge held that the salesmen were duly authorised by D1 to make representations to the Claimants as to the loan arrangements, that the Swiss franc aspect of the loan was a major selling point and D1 owed the Claimants a duty of care to put the Claimants on notice of the risks. The judge found that D1 was in breach of this duty. The claim against D2 was dismissed and there was judgment for D2 against the Claimants.

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Day 1

Part 1

Part 2

Day 2

Part 1

Part 2