Further Decision in ‘Barons Finance’ Litigation

The High Court has handed down judgment in Lukan v Ghana Commercial Finance Ltd (in liquidation) [2018] EWHC 418 (QB). Julian Gun Cuninghame represented Mr Lukan, who successfully appealed a circuit judge’s decision in 2011 not to set aside a possession order. Mr Lukan had entered a bridging loan with a company controlled by Mr Gopee, who had also controlled Barons Finance Limited. Mr Gopee’s companies made loans to people who had arrived in the UK quite recently and were under severe financial pressure.

The possession order had been made by a district judge when Mr Lukan was absent in Nigeria. The transcript of the circuit judge’s decision not to set it aside had been destroyed and therefore the High Court dealt with the appeal by way of rehearing, rather than review. Lane J decided that Mr Lukan met the criteria under CPR r39.3(5) to set aside the possession order, as he had a real prospect of success in his defence, namely that (i) the agreement was a regulated credit agreement which was unenforceable without a court order, due to non-compliance with the Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 1983 and (ii) there was an ‘unfair relationship’. A previous High Court Judge had extended the time for bringing the appeal, but Lane J said that he would have done so in any event.

Lukan v Ghana Commercial Finance Ltd

[N.B. para 54 of the transcript of the judgment should state that “the credit in question did not exceed £25,000”]