Surzur Overseas Ltd v Koros and others: CA 25 Feb 1999

A defendant to a worldwide Mareva injunction had failed to give full disclosure of all his assets in an affidavit filed with the court. False evidence as to sale of the assets in question was later manufactured and placed before the court. The plaintiffs claimed damages against the defendants and others. The claim was characterised as a conspiracy to injure the plaintiffs by a number of unlawful means, those unlawful means including the giving of false evidence before the court.
Held: The strike out request was refused. The conspiracy had a broader objective and was not brought simply in respect of evidence given. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.
Waller LJ referred to Lord Morris in Roy v Prior as to its conclusion in relation to witness immunity,and added: ‘It also seems to me that what the above demonstrates is that it is not permissible to divide allegations up as Mr Schaff sought to do into those that involve giving evidence and those which do not.’ and: ‘In my view the statement of Lord Morris is capable of two interpretations, on either of which the plaintiffs, on the pleaded facts, will not be defeated by the witness immunity rule. On the first interpretation his statement should not be read simply as saying that malicious arrest or malicious prosecution alone are exceptions to the witness immunity rule. His statement, in my view, supports a broader proposition that if the action is not brought simply in respect of evidence given or supplied but is brought in relation to some broader objective during the currency of which it may well be that evidence was given witness immunity should not apply.’


Waller LJ, Hirst and Aldous LJJ


[1999] 2 LLR 616, [1999] EWCA Civ 863, [1999] CLC 801, [1999] 2 Lloyds Rep 611




England and Wales


CitedRoy v Prior HL 1970
The court considered an alleged tort of maliciously procuring an arrest. The plaintiff had been arrested under a bench warrant issued as a result of evidence given by the defendant. He sued the defendant for damages for malicious arrest.
Held: . .

Cited by:

CitedMahonia Limited v JP Morgan Chase Bankwest Lb Ag QBD 3-Aug-2004
The Claimant claimed on a letter of credit issued by the Defendant on behalf of Enron Ltd, who asserted it was not liable to pay there having been unlawful behaviour by Enron Ltd. Swap agreements had been entered into, and the defendant said the . .
CitedWalsh v Staines and others ChD 26-Jul-2007
The defendants applied to strike out a claim based on an allegation of a fraudulent deceit and conspiracy in earlier proceedings between the parties. It was said that the defendant solicitors had represented that their client had funds to support an . .
CitedTotal Network Sl v Revenue and Customs HL 12-Mar-2008
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Jurisdiction

Updated: 05 December 2022; Ref: scu.145778