Update on legal proceedings taken by Mr Pierpaolo Rocco against the Company in the Scottish Courts
MetalNRG plc (the “Company”) announces that Sheriff Philip Mann has issued his judgement in the case brought by Mr Rocco (a former director of the Company) in the Scottish Sheriff’s Court in which he sought a “declarator” (effectively a court confirmation) and certain other court orders for payment against the Company, on the basis of a service agreement between the parties relating to Mr Rocco’s now-terminated employment with the Company.
Specifically, Mr Rocco sought: (1) payment of a termination payment in the sum of £50,000; (2) confirmation that indemnity provisions for legal expenses contained in the service agreement extended to cover Mr Rocco’s legal costs in the action brought by the Company in the High Court in England and Wales against him, Brit Energy Holdings LLP and BritNRG Limited on an unrestricted and unlimited basis; and (3) payment of his legal expenses in the action brought against him by the Company in the sum of £100,899.24 and continuing.
Sheriff Mann denied all of the applications made by Mr Rocco, confirming (as the Company had argued) that (1) the termination payment could only be due in circumstances in which Mr Rocco was a “good leaver”; and (2) the indemnity could not be construed to extend to allow Mr Rocco to take legal advice or recover his costs relating to his own breach of the service agreement or behaviour and that any alternative construction would also be incompatible with the general principle that a person should not be entitled to benefit from his own breach of contract.
This ruling effectively disposes of Mr Rocco’s claims in the Sheriff’s Court and the Company expects to make an application for its costs in this matter against Mr Rocco at a case management hearing scheduled for 21 June 2022.
Mr Rocco has now brought a separate claim in the Scottish Employment Tribunal for, inter alia, wrongful and unfair dismissal. The Company will vigorously defend this action when it is heard.
The Company is currently awaiting a date for the hearing of its application for summary judgment against Brit Energy Holdings LLP and BritNRG Limited in the proceeds brought by it against those entities and Mr Rocco personally. The fact that the summary judgment application does not extend to Mr Rocco is merely a technical procedural matter; if the Company obtains summary judgment against Brit Energy Holdings LLP and BritNRG Limited this will dispose of the action against two of the three defendants to that action in short order and will allow the Company to streamline the case as regards Mr Rocco personally.
The Company will provide further updates on the application for summary judgement in due course.
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