United States: Jones Day Client Prince Abdullah Bin Mosa'ad Wins Long-Running Shareholder Dispute With Kevin McCabe Over The Ownership Of Sheffield United Football Club

Last Updated: September 23 2019
Article by Daniel J. Travers, Lee Coffey, Catrin Hughes and Isabella Noyen (Bella)
Most Read Contributor in United States, September 2019

Jones Day client His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Mosa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud has succeeded in his claim to take full control of the English Premier League team Sheffield United Football Club, after a hotly contested dispute with Kevin McCabe, a well-known UK businessman, and his company Sheffield United Limited (SUL). The Firm also achieved the dismissal of all claims brought against Prince Abdullah and his company, UTB, LLC (UTB), and board member Yusuf Giansiracusa, by SUL: (i) seeking damages for breach of contract and conspiracy to cause harm to SUL; and (ii) of unfair prejudice (under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006) arising from alleged conduct of Prince Abdullah, UTB, and Mr Giansiracusa.

Judgment was handed down by Mr Justice Fancourt on 16 September 2019. The successful outcome follows a 19 day trial held in London's High Court in May and June this year and follows a court process which began 20 months ago.

Jones Day partner Dan Travers of the Firm's London Office said: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome. The dispute gave rise to a number of complex legal issues, as well as very serious allegations made against Prince Abdullah and Mr Giansiracusa which have been found to have lacked any merit. As the trial judge noted in his judgment, SUL pursued its case against our clients relentlessly in its attempts to prevent Prince Abdullah and UTB from taking control of the football club and to instead secure control for itself. The complex nature of the case and the manner in which it was pursued by SUL meant that Prince Abdullah and UTB needed our Firm's substantial litigation experience and ability to deliver across practice areas and offices. We are delighted that the judgment brings an end to the uncertainty over the ownership of Sheffield United, and wish all at the club well in their first season back in the Premier League."

Prince Abdullah said: "I am delighted that this judgment brings an end to the uncertainty over Sheffield United’s future. It has been a long process but I was always confident that we would be vindicated and that the English Court would see through the serious but unfounded allegations made against me. I am grateful for the support from everyone on my team, including Dan Travers and the lawyers at Jones Day who did a superb job and were professional and helpful every step of the way."

UTB, LLC -v- Sheffield United Limited & Others [BL-2018-000281], [CR-2018-003995] [2019] EWHC 2322 (Ch) (16 September 2019)

The Jones Day team on this matter was led by partners Dan Travers and Lee Coffey, and included associates Catrin Hughes and Isabella Noyen (all based in London). Additional lawyers in Jones Day's London, Riyadh, and Dubai offices were also involved in the case.

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