£4m Dubai Debt upheld by English Court

Dubai Debt Collection

An English Court has ordered an ex-Football Club boss to repay a Debt order issued by a Dubai Court.

The Court ruling made in Dubai ordered David Haigh to re-pay millions of pounds in cash he was convicted of siphoning from an investment company in the UAE.

David Haigh was convicted in 2015 by Courts in Dubai for a breach of trust. It was found that he embezzled almost £4m in funds from his previous employer GFH Capital Ltd. GFH Capital Ltd are a middle eastern based private equity company which previously owned Leeds United Football Club.

Following Mr Haigh’s conviction in 2015, a further court hearing in 2018 ordered Mr Haigh to re-pay the debt in Dubai. A debt that Mr Haigh continues to contest even though evidence shows monies paid into his own bank account and his friends.

Sums of £2,039,793.70 AED 8,735,340 and USD $50,000 were awarded in damages to GFH Capital Ltd by Mr Justice Cook.

GFH since brought proceedings to the High Court in the UK to enforce the 2018 ruling made in Dubai. This seemingly to enforce payment of the Dubai debt in the UK.

The ruling to pay the debt was upheld in the High Court by Mr Justice Henshaw at a hearing last week. The Court found that Mr Haigh had no real prospect of defending the order he had stolen from GFH.

At the hearing last Tuesday it was said “Mr Haigh makes a number of contentions about the jurisdiction of the DIFC Court under the law of Dubai and/or the UAE. He argues that the DIFC Court did not have jurisdiction to make findings of fraud, and that it did not have jurisdiction when there were proceedings before the ‘onshore’ Dubai court at the same time.”

It continues: “In any event, however, the evidence before me provides no good reason to doubt the conclusions as to jurisdiction reached by the DIFC Court of Appeal and Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke, and on that basis I am satisfied that the DIFC Court had jurisdiction according to its own law. The general position is that a foreign judgement is final and conclusive as to any matter adjudicated by it, regardless of any error of fact or law.”

Following the ruling, Mr Haigh – who has previously tried and failed to stop proceedings, citing medical grounds – said in a statement: “It’s clear that a judge that was appointed only in December 2019 has played safe in this first instance and kept all avenues open.”

Mr Haigh said he was “disappointed” by GFH’s “attempt to claim the nonsensical sum”, adding he was “not surprised”.

Mr Haigh’s comments came after a ruling was quoted by the previous Dubai Judge reading  “No-one has ever come forward with a coherent explanation for the fact that large sums of money found their way into the bank accounts of [Mr Haigh] and that false invoices were created with payment instructions which disguised the receipt of those sums by [him]”

International Debt Collectors


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