High Court success for Rachel Coyle

March 12, 2024

Rachel Coyle from Exchange Chambers has successfully acted for her client in the High Court.

The High Court success for Rachel Coyle involved a claim covering breach of a supplier agreement and/or order; breach of the Sale of Goods Act 1979; misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and mistake as to identity.

Rachel’s client, Maia Luxury Limited, was a reseller in the UK and purchased a luxury handbag costing £170,000 from an individual who gave his name as Ivan Franki. The money was paid to a company bank account for the handbag. The handbag was not delivered and was reported by Ivan Franki to be defective. Maia Luxury Limited asked for the money back but it was not returned in full.

Proceedings were issued against Ivan Franki, the Company and another party who was understood to potentially be the legal name of Ivan Franki.

Default judgment was obtained as was a freezing injunction. Service, however, was defective as the postcode was wrong by one letter. It also transpired that Ivan Franki was not real and was indeed legally known as Paresh Thanky.

Maia Luxury Limited discontinued proceedings and started again. On the second occasion, the claim was successfully served and only Paresh Thanky and the Company were named.

The Defendants applied to strike out the second claim on the grounds that it was a Henderson v Henderson abuse of process. They sought to say that their agreement to there being a discontinuance (and setting aside of the default judgment) by consent was a “compromise” and as such was a compromise of the entire cause of action.

Rachel Coyle and Maia Luxury Limited’s legal team successfully argued that:

  1. Discontinuance was within their client’s discretion and it was discontinuance of the claim not of the entire cause/s of action;
  2. The Claim Form had expired so it was risky to get an extension of time and also serve amended Particulars of Claim, as well seek an extension of time;
  3. Agreeing to discontinue is not the same as agreeing to withdraw;
  4. There was no unjust harassment particularly when the Defendant had misled the Claimant as to who he actually was.

The Defendants’ application to strike out the claim was dismissed with Deputy Master Skinner KC ruling that the case fell “a very considerable way short of satisfying me that the present proceedings are abusive”.

Rachel Coyle was instructed by CGS Legal and led by Richard Wilson KC.

To read the full judgment please click here.

Since joining Exchange Chambers last year, Rachel has enjoyed a number of case successes.