Consolidated Contractors loses court appeal

15 November 2007

Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), one of the largest contractors in the Middle East, will have to pay $52m to a former business partner, after the UK’s House of Lords said it had no grounds to appeal an earlier court ruling.

CCC was appealing an earlier decision by the High Court in London. The former business partner, a Palestinian businessman called Munib Masri, could now use the court ruling to seize assets from two CCC subsidiaries anywhere in the world.
The subsidiaries, Consolidated Contractors Oil & Gas (CCO&G) and Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCIC), failed to pay Masri his share of revenues from an oil-drilling concession in Yemen.
“The judgment is against those two assets,” said Simon Morgan, the partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons which represented Masri.
Masri can present the UK judgment to the courts in any country where CCO&G and CCIC have assets. If the courts accept the UK judgment, Masri can use the local legal apparatus to seize equipment, finance and property owned by either subsidiary.
Yemen’s oil ministry granted Masri and the two CCC subsidiaries a licence to extract oil from the Yemeni Masila field in 1992. Under the agreement, Masri was entitled to 10 per cent of the revenues.
Masri worked alongside CCC founder Hasib Sabbagh during the 1980s. CCC’s in-house solicitor Edgard Marina declined to comment on the outcome of the legal dispute. “This is something personal. I will not give any information,” he said.

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