The Memo: London court battle ensues over Zurich fraud claims

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London court battle ensues over Zurich fraud claims

James Westmacott – 4 March 2024

Greensill Capital - a financial services company based out of the UK and Australia - has been under the pump for a number of years over a credit insurance case, which has seen them face claims of fraud and money laundering in court. In the latest chapter of the debacle, Swiss insurance firm Zurich has now accused the company’s founder, Australian billionaire Lex Greensill, and Liberty House Group founder, Sanjeev Gupta, of fraudulently attempting to deceive their underwriters by manufacturing false debts.

Following its collapse a few years ago, Greensill Capital has (according to its legal rival Zurich) engaged in activities that sought the deliberate avoidance of insurance policies. Meanwhile, the company also took money from clients before taking invoices from suppliers, re-packaging them as bonds and selling them to investors. These are merely the latest allegations that Zurich seeks to bolt onto its defence and counterclaim to a trade credit insurance lawsuit that was heard in the high court last year.

However, this isn’t just any old company dispute. The company remains firmly within political circles, especially considering the fact that former Prime Minister David Cameron used to be a Greensill Capital adviser. What’s more, while Lex Greensill was made a CBE in 2017 due to his services to business, Gupta also has his own royal connections, and Prince William made him an official HRH Ambassador for Industrial Cadets in 2018. So, with the two businessmen now firmly entangled in the ongoing London high court case, a couple of overriding questions remain. Will Zurich be found liable? And if so, will a corresponding claim against the wealthy industrialists follow? Only time will tell...