Amanda Staveley fails in her bid to set aside statutory demand

Posted on Mar 26, 2024. by NTI

Newcastle United director, Amanda Staveley, faces potential bankruptcy after her application to set aside a statutory demand for £3.5mn was dismissed by the High Court yesterday.

Staveley, whose company, Cantervale Ltd, owns 10% of Newcastle has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Greek Business tycoon and billionaire, Victor Restis. The British financier who helped broker the deal for Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to acquire Newcastle United FC for £300mn in 2021 now faces a bankruptcy petition.

The statutory demand relates to a £10mn investment made by Restis into Steveley’s business ventures in 2008. Restis originally issued a state demand in May 2023 against Staveley for £36mn, £30mn representing interest. His statutory demand was subsequently reduced to £3.5mn as a result of dropping claims for interest and legal costs.

Application to set aside
Staveley’s lawyer, Ted Loveday, argued that Staveley was not personally liable, that Restis had exploited her Huntingtons disease which impaired her ability to make decisions. It was also argued that the loans and agreements were made under duress, undue influence and misrepresentation.  The High court on Monday rejected all of these arguments.

Judge Shaffer found that the legal team representing Restis had “proved conclusively” that Staveley was personally liable in the documents provided and that it “beggars belief” she did not understand she was liable. In respect of Staveley’s claims that Restis had exploited her Huntingtons disease, the judge rejected this and found that her condition had stabilised by the time of the agreements.

Referring to Staveley’s contention she was under duress judge Shaffer said that her claim “ventures into the realm of fantasy and is completely implausible”. The judge said that her claims lacked credibility and that there was “no evidence” of duress. Judge Shaffer referred to correspondence between Staveley and Restis in which she referred to him as “darling Victor” which he found demonstrated a “warm business relationship”.

The judge found Staveley’s queries regarding the legitimacy of the funds invested by Restis as “wholly without merit” and being “used as a screen to avoid payment”.

What next?
Whilst Staveley did not attend the hearing on Monday, she issued a statement in which she said she “welcomes that the ruling made a £33mn reduction in the claim to principal only with no interest.” Her lawyers said that Staveley “continues to dispute personal liability and intends to lodge an appeal”.

According to the solicitors representing Restis, if Staveley fails to comply with the statutory demand and make payment by 22nd April, they will proceed with a bankruptcy petition against Staveley.

« Back to articles