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Andrew Spink KC and Justina Stewart appear in landmark cryptocurrency appeal

Andrew Spink KC and Justina Stewart appear in landmark cryptocurrency appeal

Andrew Spink KC and Justina Stewart appeared in the DIFC Court of Appeal on behalf of the appellant in Huobi MENA & Anor v. Tabarak Investment Capital Limited & Anor, in what promises to shape the landscape of digital assets disputes.

The claim, worth multi millions of dollars, concerns alleged custody and escrow services provided by Tabarak, a DFSA-regulated investment bank, in relation to a bitcoin to US$ transaction and misappropriation.

Following an eight day trial in late 2021 in the DIFC Court, Andrew and Justina’s clients obtained permission to appeal on all eight grounds of appeal. This includes appeals on points of law in relation to the claims for breach of confidence, breach of contract, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty and goes to the heart of the duties owed by a crypto custodian/escrow agent.

The 3-day appeal was presided over by Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, and included Justice Michael Black, Judge in charge of the DIFC’s Digital Economy Court, and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi.

With numerous insightful questions from the bench, this promises to be a landmark judgment in digital assets, of interest to all common law jurisdictions.

Andrew and Justina were instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys Middle East team, working with Sara Sheffield, Max Davies, Peter Smith, James Colautti and Reem Faqihi.

Andrew’s and Justina’s appearance in this case is testament to their deep expertise in digital assets.  Their leading role in developing the law on digital assets is reflected not only in the cases upon which they have been instructed but by their work, with other talented members of Outer Temple and Hin Liu of Oxford University, on the DIFC’s new Digital Assets Law. 

Andrew and Justina are ranked in Tier 1/Band 1 for Crypto in the legal directories and complement Outer Temple’s market leading team in this field – as reflected in Outer Temple’s award of Technology, Data and Crypto Set of the Year 2023.

Find out more

Andrew Spink KC is a highly respected advocate with 38 years’ experience at the Bar and over 20 years as a successful silk (QC/KC). He is a recent Chair of the Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales. Andrew has an extensive business law practice, specialising particularly in disputes or advisory work relating to the interpretation or breach of most types of commercial contract and trust deed, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, freezing injunctions & asset recovery, cross-jurisdictional issues, claims for damages & other relief in the context of pensions & other commercial trusts, banking & financial servicesfintech & a wide range of other commercial contracts, professional negligence claims and company law and insolvency issues.

Justina Stewart’s practice encompasses the full range of commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on banking and financial servicescivil fraudfintech and digital assets, insolvency and international arbitration. She is ranked in the key legal directories as a Leading Junior in several areas including Commercial Litigation/Commercial Dispute Resolution, Banking and Finance, Fintech and digital assets, Financial Services Regulation and Insolvency.

To find out more about Andrew or Justina, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669.

News 2 Feb, 2024


Andrew Spink KC

Call: 1985 Silk: 2003

Justina Stewart

Call: 2010

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