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FHR European Ventures v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2014]

Facts

  • The defendant solicitors advised FHR on the purchase of shares in the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel worth EUR 211.5 million, in return for remuneration
  • As a result of the transaction, the solicitors also obtained a EUR 10 million payment, in breach of fiduciary duty as the consent of FHR had not been obtained

Issue

  • Was the EUR 10 million a personal or proprietary remedy available to the principal?

Decision

  • Proprietary

Reasoning

  • Bribes should become the property of the principal as they are effectively a loss to that principal
  • Bribes undermine the commercial world
  • Bribes do not prejudice other creditors as they shouldn’t have existed in the first place
  • The rule that all breaches of fiduciary duties should give rise to proprietary remedies has the added benefit of simplicity

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