Former XL Leisure boss Phil Wyatt and his co-defendants have spoken of their “disappointment” after the Supreme Court dismissed their appeal to overturn a ruling which had ordered them to pay £1.4 million in the long-running legal battle surrounding the collapse of Goldtrail.
The operator, which specialised in budget beach holidays, collapsed in 2010, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad and costing the CAA around £20 million in the process.
A 2014 ruling found that Wyatt, together with Magnus Stephensen and Halldor Sigurdarson and an entity called Black Pearl Investments Ltd (BPI), along with Turkish airline Onur Air, dishonestly assisted Goldtrail owner Abdulkadir Aydin in his breach of “fiduciary duty” by misapplying the company’s money.
They were ordered to pay compensation – a ruling which they subsequently appealed in March this year.
A month later the Court of Appeal ruled that Wyatt and his co- defendants should have their appeal dismissed, prompting Wyatt and co to turn to the Supreme Court, lodging their appeal on May 10.
Turkish airline Onur Air did the same on February 19, after its appeal was dismissed in January for “procedural reasons”, having earlier been found liable to pay compensation of £3.6 million.
TTG has now learned that this month the Supreme Court rejected Wyatt and co-defendants’ appeal, with administrators PwC now set to pursue the three defendants for the total £1.4 million owed – with each owing around £466,000 individually.
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court said: “I can now confirm that a panel of three Justices has refused BPI permission to appeal to the Supreme Court ‘because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered at this time bearing in mind the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal’. So the Court of Appeal decision will stand”.
A spokesperson for PwC said the company was now “looking to enforce the judgment” against Wyatt, but said it was unable to comment further.
In a statement Wyatt and co-defendants told TTG: “We are disappointed obviously with the Supreme Court decision and are in communication with PwC through our advisors with regards to a settlement.”
Meanwhile, Onur Air could be set to continue its legal battle. The Supreme Court spokesperson said that with regards to the Onur Air appeal, “the court has granted permission on limited grounds”.
He added: “The test the Justices apply when considering whether to grant permission to appeal is whether the case raises a point of law of general public importance.
“The appellant, Onur Air, has paid a sum into court for security (ie. in the event he loses, to cover at least some of the other side’s legal costs).”