Lexpert Solicitors LLP is proud to announce its first reported High Court decision in Bailli – https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2022/2870.html. We successfully defended Mr. Munim (aka Salik Bhai), and his businesses – Le Chef PLC t/a Chef online and ARTA Awards Ltd against opposite parties, Hafizur Rahman and Rifat Ahmed.
This case started in June 2018 initially as a defamation claim leading to two further claims initiated by the opposite parties for unfair prejudice and copyright infringement in 2020. The defamation matter concerns defamatory posts on social media platform Facebook about our client. The company matter involves disputes relating to share transfers and restructuring of Le Chef PLC in 2014/15 while the copyright matter concerns the ownership rights of logo and trophy design used by ARTA Awards Ltd. All three claims were then consolidated in 2021 with the direction to stay the defamation matter till trial of the company and IP matter are concluded.
The unfair prejudice petition and copyright infringement trial took place over four days at the High Court in October 2022 and judgment for both matters was given by His Honour Judge Jarman KC in favour of the clients. We are most pleased and very grateful for his findings.
This case was very complex and unique in featuring three distinct areas of law – defamation, company, and copyright law. Despite the areas of law being different, the facts of the matters were intricately intertwined and severely contested leading to trial and adjudication on the contested facts.
It is still an ongoing matter as the defamation case is still to be heard. Yet we can pause and take a moment to appreciate the mammoth work undertaken to reach this vantage point. Since the inception of the defamation matter in the summer of 2018, we worked tirelessly to support and advise the clients. We took strategic steps at every stage of the proceedings being ever mindful of costs. However, without a doubt, the most challenging phase was unearthing relevant evidence from 2014 which took months and to organise all the information in a bundle. The second big challenge was to prepare the all-important written evidence and bringing together all the relevant pieces of evidence and undertaking a range of associated tasks for trial preparations.
We sincerely wish that our clients Mr Munim, Le Chef plc and ARTA Awards can start the new year 2023 with more vigour and resolve being vindicated by the High Court. Also, congratulations to the members of the litigation team who worked very hard on the matter –Solicitor-Advocate, Nabila Rafique and Senior Partner Kennedy Obierozie. The hearing was conducted by an excellent team of barristers – Dr. Tim Sampson (for the copyright matter) and Mr. Matthew Winn-Smith from Lamb Chambers (company matter). The collective effort of all brought about this desired outcome.
Left to right – Dr Tim Sampson, Mohammed Munim, Matthew Winn Smith and Nabila Rafique