St Helier Capital Management Update.
On Tuesday 20th October 2020 Simon Whittley-Ryan was in court again. This time it was in relation to a winding up petition against St Helier Capital Management Ltd (“SHCM”). SHCM owes a lot of money to a lot of investors, both in terms of overdue interest payments and the return of their capital.
Our client has not been paid the contracted interest rate on his money for almost three years. He has also not been refunded his capital which was due for repayment in February 2019. The claim amount at that time, when this recovery action first started, was £32,700, but it is now significantly higher due to additional interest, court and legal fees. There is a supporting creditor who is also a Safe Or Scam client and he is owed more than £50,000. He is 89 years old and was persuaded to invest in St Helier Capital Management Ltd by Sami Raja. Here is an article we published in January on Mr Raja.
Simon Whittley-Ryan has used a number of stalling tactics to drag out this case. He has used them before in winding up petitions filed against his other companies. You can read our previous articles about his companies here.
Mr Whittley-Ryan’s early antics included claiming that he didn’t receive the legal documents, despite them being formally served on SHCM at its registered office by an independent process server. The process server had filed a certificate of proof of delivery to the court. However, the Judge adjourned the case to allow for the documents to be served again. At the next hearing, the SHCM barrister claimed that he had only just been instructed and wasn’t up to speed with the case and requested an adjournment. That adjournment was also granted. And so it continued.
The SHCM defence submitted by Mr Whittley-Ryan has been that the Investment Memorandum allowed the company to postpone all payments indefinitely and that our client was not entitled to be paid anything until St Helier Capital Management decided it could afford to repay him. He cited clauses from the Companies Act which he claimed made it illegal for the company to pay the debts it owes.
After more than 18 months of delaying tactics our client found himself at what was supposed to be the final court hearing. In the lead up to this hearing Simon Whittley-Ryan reverted to type, presumably forgetting that he had used these excuses before. He claimed that:
- he had not received the court documents informing him of this hearing date so the hearing should be adjourned; and
- he didn’t have enough time to appoint a barrister so the hearing should be adjourned.
Fortunately, our client’s solicitor had anticipated this move and he had the bases covered. The hearing went ahead as planned and Mr Whittley-Ryan represented the company.
Mr Whittley-Ryan produced a Witness Statement at the last minute and tried to derail the hearing asking for more time for the Witness Statement to be considered. All Witness Statements were required by Court Order to have been submitted in May.
We are told it became clear the Judge was sympathetic to the petitioner’s claim and was considering delivering a judgement when Mr Whittley-Ryan, on behalf of St Helier Capital Management, advised the court that the company had the money and would pay our client. The offer was accepted.
The Judge scheduled the next hearing for 25th November at which time full payment is expected to have been made.
However, we are told that Mr Whittley-Ryan then asked for more time to pay. Mindful of his history of frustrating legal proceedings that request was refused.
The Judge reminded Mr Whittley-Ryan that he had advised the court that the company had the money and we are told the Judge then required Mr Whittley-Ryan to officially confirm to the court that the company withdrew all objections to the winding up petition and that the company accepted the petitioner’s claim as valid. We are told that Mr Whittley-Ryan confirmed that position to the court. At that point we believe he had little choice because it was becoming clear that a Winding Up Order would have been the likely outcome had he not offered to pay.
Our client is expecting St Helier Capital Management Ltd to pay the petition sum + interest + costs before 25th November, but we are not holding our breath. Unfortunately, we believe this was another stalling action and we doubt the company has the money to repay our client. We very much hope we are wrong.
There will be another St Helier Capital Management Update once payment has been received by our client, or once Mr Whittley-Ryan starts attempting to delay payment, or after the hearing on 25th November, whichever is the earliest.
Well, the promised update is now available on this link.