Cleon Catsambis successful in obtaining US$10m+ summary judgment in aircraft lease

Cleon Catsambis, instructed as sole Counsel by Bree Taylor and Reece Davison of Alius Law, successfully obtained summary judgment in the matter of VSN MSN 36118 CAV DAC v SpiceJet Limited [2023] EWHC 1146 (Comm).

The case concerned payment defaults by SpiceJet in respect of the lease of a Boeing 737-700 aircraft. By its application, the Claimant sought: the accrued rental sums due; and all future rentals due until the end of the 8-year lease, pursuant to a contractual acceleration clause.

The Defendant, represented by Thomas Munby KC (instructed by Dentons UK and Middle East), argued that the claim was not properly evidenced or verified within the rules and that the proposed construction of the purported acceleration clause was incorrect and unworkable (alternatively, that it constituted an unenforceable penalty).

In a judgment handed down on 15 May 2023, Deputy Judge Charles Hollander KC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) granted summary judgment on the whole of the claim (in excess of US$10 million), including future rentals. The Judge held that although the wording of the disputed clause was “unsatisfactory” and “inelegant” it was not so unclear that it should be discarded as incomprehensible and he accepted the Claimant’s contention that the defence had no real prospect of success.

The Defendant has sought permission to appeal the decision.

See the judgment here.

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