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Qatar Investment & Projects Holding Co & anr (appellants) v Phoenix Ancient Art S.A. (respondent)

Tuesday 15 March 2022

This is a second appeal.  The Claimant appeals against the order made by William Davis J dated
25/8/21

-dismissing the Cs’ appeal from the order of Master Gidden;
-ordering Cs to pay Ds their costs of the appeal to be assessed on standard basis;
-striking out the action;
-ordering Cs to pay Ds their costs of the action on standard basis;
– ordering Cs to pay Ds the sum of 50,000 pounds on account of costs.

The claim form having been issued on 22/1/20 the ordinary 6-month period for service abroad expired on 22/7/20. This period covered the start of the pandemic. The claim form was served on 8/9/20, just under 7 weeks outside the original 6 months and within the period of an extension of time granted on ex parte basis by Master Gidden.
The Ds applied for an on notice hearing of their application to set aside the ex parte order.
The Master set aside his order.
The Cs submit that the judgment of the Master appeared to suggest that Cs should have foreseen the pandemic and acted differently.
The judge dismissed the Cs’ appeal holding that the Master had not erred in the exercise of his discretion.

The claim concerns an object known as the Head of Alexander the Great as Herakles , purchsed by C1 ,a Qatari company of which C2 is the CEO. D is a Swiss art dealer .
The Cs’ case is that the Head is a forgery.

View hearing:

Part 1