BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
COURT OF APPEAL
SHARES – BUY/SELL AGREEMENT MADE IN SAUDI ARABIA RELATING TO ALL JOINTLY HELD ASSETS – BVI COMPANY NOT INCLUDED IN A LIST OF THE JOINTLY HELD ASSETS VALUED – DISPUTE ARISING WHETHER THE SHARES IN THE BVI COMPANY WERE INCLUDED IN THE SOLD ASSETS – EXPERT EVIDENCE ON SHARI’A LAW ACCEPTED BY JUDGE – WHETHER JUDGE RIGHT TO HOLD AGREEMENT WAS NOT AMBIGUOUS – WHETHER ISSUE RES JUDICATA
In a dispute between brothers of a prominent Saudi Arabian family over the ownership of shares in a BVI company known as Chemtrade Limited (“Chemtrade”), the Court of Appeal applied principles of Shari’a law (as they relate to a process of disassociation between the family members (known as “takharuj”) and overturned the decision of the High Court to order the Respondents to transfer the shares in Chemtrade to the Appellant.
The main issue on this appeal was whether the Chemtrade shares were included in a Buy/Sell Agreement made in Saudi Arabia relating to all jointly held assets of the family, in circumstances where those shares were not expressly included in the list of assets said to be transferred.