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Sunday, Dec 03, 2023

Hinduja Family Reach Agreement In UK Court Proceedings

Hinduja Family Reach Agreement In UK Court Proceedings

A spokesperson for the Hindujas said the family looks forward to continuing a "harmonious" relationship in the future.
The UK-based Hinduja brothers, who were locked in a legal dispute in the High Court in England over their billionaire family assets, have reached a confidential agreement, according to a Court of Appeal ruling in London on Friday.

The case was brought by Srichand Hinduja, 86, described as the "patriarch" of the family, against brothers G P Hinduja, P P Hinduja and A P Hinduja and revolved around the "validity and effect" of a letter dated July 2, 2014.

It related to the family's "everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone" maxim and went through protracted legal proceedings since November 2019.

In a ruling related to reporting restrictions related to the case, Lord Justice Peter Jackson, Lord Justice Baker and Lord Justice Warby in the Court of Appeal Civil Division noted that there has been an agreement in the case and proceeded to lift much of the reporting restrictions.

"On 30 June 2022, the family reached a confidential agreement concerning the Chancery proceedings and other litigation abroad, and a consent order was filed in those proceedings on 1 July 2022," the judgment reads.

"For many years the family presented a united front to the world under the striking code 'everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone'. Unfortunately, family differences have led to various legal proceedings," it notes.

A spokesperson for the Hindujas said the family looks forward to continuing a "harmonious" relationship in the future.

"The Hinduja family matter regarding the health and welfare of S P [Srichand P Hinduja] has already been resolved amicably between all parties and today's judgement solely concerned whether those matters should remain private. Today's decision has no impact whatsoever on the ongoing care of Mr SP Hinduja, on which the family are united, or on any business operations," the spokesperson said.

The appeal judgment this week relates to a Court of Protection order from August lifting reporting restrictions and involved media house Bloomberg as an "Intervenor" seeking to report on matters of public interest in the case.

While the court agreed to lift most restrictions, it imposed injunctions on any revelations around the facts of Srichand Hinduja's dementia diagnosis and condition beyond what is already in the public domain.

"In our view, the judge was fully entitled to take the view that he did of the inappropriateness of continued anonymisation of this family. Because of the close association between the family and its business empire, its fortunes matter to many other people," the ruling notes.

"It follows that, because anonymity is impossible, the RRO [restricted reporting order] represents a heavy interference with the normal right of the media to report on proceedings held in public," it adds.

Srichand Hinduja's Official Solicitor, appointed in the interests of a medically vulnerable person, had argued that open reporting of the proceedings is more likely to provide a "protective layer" to the ailing businessman.

While his family members argued in favour of secrecy to prevent details of his medical condition and care being made public.

"Whilst Srichand Hinduja was a man who preferred privacy, he also recognised the expediency of publicity when that was identified as necessary. Here, for the reasons above, publicity is expedient," the Court of Appeal judges ruled.

The Hinduja brothers are the UK's richest family, with an estimated fortune of GBP 28.472 billion in the 2022 'Sunday Times Rich List'. The family feud emerged in a High Court ruling dating back to June 2020, in which Srichand Hinduja's daughter Vinoo was allowed act on her father's behalf as his "litigation friend".

"As is well-known, SP's family has achieved extraordinary business success. The Hinduja Group operates in many sectors, employs some 200,000 people around the world, and asserts that it strives to inculcate the family concept into its business enterprises," the Court of Appeal judgment notes.
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