The Court of Appeal has granted Oliver Cookson and a private trust of which he is a beneficiary (the Trust) permission to challenge an award of damages by The High Court to The Hut Group.
The case, which went to trial in October 2014, followed a dispute arising from a 2011 Share Purchase Agreement, following which, UK-based online retailer The Hut Group alleged that Mr Cookson and the Trust had overstated profits prior to the £58m sale of Myprotein. Mr Cookson and the Trust successfully countersued THG for fraudulent breach of warranty in relation to the warranted value of the THG shares forming part of the consideration for the sale.
In December 2014, the High Court awarded damages of £10.8m to the Trust and £4.3m to The Hut Group. The Hut Group did not appeal the decision and has to date paid a total net sum of over £7m in damages, interest and costs to the Trust, whilst the Court of Appeal has now concluded that the original decision to award damages to THG can be appealed.
If the appeal is successful, the award in favour of The Hut Group would be overturned and the proportion of legal costs which THG was ordered to pay could be increased.