Kenyan Tycoons Fight It Out Over Prime London Plot

Two Kenyan tycoons have extended a bitter dispute over a prime parcel of land in London worth £1 million (Sh145 million) to the Nairobi High Court.

London Heathrow airport

London Heathrow airport

Former Charterhouse Bank boss Sanjay Shah has asked the court to compel BTB Insurance boss Kamlesh Bid to pay him £326,000 (Sh47 million), which he claims he was awarded by the Chancery Division of UK’s High Court as costs of the suit he allegedly won in the London case.

Mr Bid moved to the UK court in 2009 on behalf of his firm Tecof International, which is registered in that country, arguing that Mr Shah had unlawfully sold the prime property on 138 Kingsland Road in London.

He added that the land had been transferred to Mr Shah’s Town Castle, a company registered in the Bahamas, to hold on behalf of Town Castle. Mr Shah claimed that the transfer was an outright sale, and that his company was not at fault for re-selling it in April 2000.

Both firms have since been deregistered in their respective countries, after they admitted to keeping the sale of the land off the record to avoid tax deductions by the UK authorities. Mr Bid said in the UK suit papers that the transfer of the land to Town Castle was meant to keep Tecof from its legitimate creditors.

Lady Justice Jacqueline Kamau has ordered that the two parties argue the case through written arguments, which they are to file by Thursday. They will appear before her on October 29 to highlight the crucial parts of their pleadings and then await a judgment date.

Mr Shah now wants the Nairobi court to issue orders compelling Mr Bid to pay the £326,000 to him. He said despite the money being awarded to him by a court in a different country, the Kenyan court has the jurisdiction to issue the orders he is seeking.

“The defendants have no known assets in the United Kingdom, as such the judgment and consequential orders of the Chancery Division cannot be enforced in the UK,” said Mr Shah.

While Mr Shah contends that Mr Justice Robin Knowles awarded him the money when he threw out the suit, Mr Bid insists that the case is still ongoing hence he cannot pay the sum until the matter is determined. He insists that the suit he lodged in the UK has not yet been given a final determination, so Mr Shah cannot be granted the orders he has sought in the Nairobi court.

Mr Bid’s brother, Dilesh, who was also enjoined in the suit said in response that the matter was not concluded hence the suit against them was lodged prematurely.

– Business Daily