14th May 2021


Mark Barry Slater (director of the Claimant) represented by Mr Ben Channer.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Tipples:

On 30 April 2021 I dismissed as totally without merit the Claimant’s ex parte application against the First and Third Defendants for, amongst other things, disclosure of bank statements, a freezing injunction of bank accounts and a so-called interim proprietary injunction of a freehold property in Epping called The Old Vicarage and a maisonette at the same address.

The Claimant’s claim and the application for the injunction were based on a so-called assignment which maintained that the Claimant, Bay Mining Consultants Limited, had standing to bring the claim as an assignee of a Belize company called MSL Services Limited. The brief details of claim in the claim form said this:

“1. A claim to recover money of the order of £3 million held by the First and Third Defendants on bare trust for the benefit of the Claimant’s predecessor in title and property worth in the region of £3 million representing other trust money.

2. A claim to enforce loan contracts in the amount of £5,658,916 against the Second Defendant.”

The evidence in support of the injunction application was set out in the witness statement of Mark Barry Slater (“Mr Slater”) dated 26 April 2021. That statement explained that the business of MSL Services Limited, defined in Mr Slater’s witness statement as “MSL”, had been conducted by a succession of companies over the years since 1994 and that MSL’s business had been primarily the production, sale and marketing of wealth and lawful tax planning structures to English resident individuals.

Mr Slater’s witness statement continued by explaining that MSL is entitled to fees for the services described in respect of its business. MSL does not maintain a bank account in England & Wales instead it directs that its clients pay the fees due to other entities. Generally it is advisors and business introducers who receive that money on its behalf and apply it to its direction.

Mr Slater further explained that MSL’s case is that such a recipient of funds is a bare trustee of the funds for the benefit of MSL. MSL refers to such individuals as “fiduciaries” and, in view of what he says, their fiduciary obligations are as a bare trustee. Mr Slater explained at paragraph 11 of his witness statement that he understood from MSL that the First Defendant first offered the service of acting as a fiduciary to MSL in 2006 and since that date has purported to provide fiduciary services to MSL.

He explained that the Claimant’s case is that Mr Patel had in total over £11 million of MSL monies transferred to him as a fiduciary. He then referred to correspondence between the First Defendant and HM Revenue and Customs.

Then at paragraph 14 of his witness statement Mr Slater said this and I quote:

“Mr Patel disclosed the HMRC correspondence to one of MSL’s advisors called Paul Baxendale. Mr Baxendale is himself a tax advisor and it appears “in communications between the two referred to below” that Mr Patel hoped that Mr Baxendale could assist him in responding to HMRC and/or refer him to someone who could.”

The witness statement continued by explaining that the correspondence described as the HMRC correspondence had caused MSL concern and then said:

“That MSL could not understand why Mr Patel would not simply have told HMRC that he was holding the MSL money as fiduciary when he was asked in January 2020 or again in January 2021. It appeared to suggest the possibility that Mr Patel had applied the MSL money for his own purposes and inconsistent with his status as a bare trustee of the money.”

Continue reading this judgment here.


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