Debevoise Advises Victor Pisante in High Court Victory

31 January 2022

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has represented Victor Pisante and several of his associated companies in a successful deceit claim in the High Court of England & Wales.

The dispute arose out of various agreements concluded between the parties in 2013 and 2014, including a joint venture agreement and three equity tracker fee agreements. Upon entry into the third equity tracker fee agreement (“EFTA3”), Mr. Pisante obtained a 30% indirect interest in a separate JV in which Lomar (a company associated with Mr. George Logothetis) held a majority interest in various containerships.

Mr. Pisante maintained that he (through one of his companies, Swindon Holdings & Finance Limited (“Swindon”)) was induced to enter into EFTA 3 on the basis of false statements made to him by Mr. Logothetis. Mr. Pisante alleged that Mr. Logothetis knew of the falsity, and so the primary claim made was in deceit.

Following a two-week Trial in July 2021, Mr. Justice Andrew Baker found in favour of Swindon, determining that Mr. Logothetis knowingly made false representations with the intention that they be relied on by Mr. Pisante.

As a result of finding fraudulent misrepresentations, Baker J held that Swindon was entitled to an order rescinding EFTA 3 and to an interim payment of damages of compensation in the sum of $6.25 million, plus interest.

In addition, on the facts, Baker J held that had the false misrepresentations not been made, Swindon would have entered into an alternative arrangement which he referred to as EFTA 3*. The Judge indicated that Swindon may be entitled to additional equitable compensation to reflect the current value of Swindon’s interest in EFTA *3 and has invited submissions from the parties to determine what (if any) further compensation is due.

In a separate claim, Swindon also alleged that it was entitled to a payment of €500,000 in relation to breach of an oral contract relating to the purchase of certain shares in Piraeus Bank. Libra (a company also associated with Mr. Logothetis) agreed to judgment being entered against it for the sum shortly before the conclusion of the Trial.

A full copy of the decision can be found here.

The Debevoise team advising Mr. Pisante was led by partner Christopher Boyne.