UK Supreme Court

Craig Wright wins in court again, awarded costs in wife’s trading case

In an update to the Reliantco trading platform operator vs. Ramona Ang case, a U.K. court has found that Ang’s husband, Dr. Craig Wright, is entitled to have his share of costs covered following her successful lawsuit in November. After losing the initial case, Reliantco had attempted to exempt Dr. Wright from the payment, which came to £63,000.

It marks another legal victory for Dr. Wright, who is currently enrolled in a PhD in law and ran legal strategy in the case—as he does for all in which he is involved or a party to. It’s also another example of Wright’s willingness and ability to dedicate full efforts towards studying any subject he finds relevant.

The initial case concerned efforts by Ramona Ang to recover US$700,000 in funds from her UFX trading account, which owner Reliantco had withheld, in addition to unrealized gains on her trading positions which she contended would now be worth in excess of $3,000,000. In court and in its own internal emails, Reliantco had claimed Ang did not properly disclose her family relationships, which it said were relevant to her trading activities. However the court rejected those arguments, recognizing that Ang had used her account independently and ordering Reliantco to return the account funds and cover costs.

In the course of its unsuccessful defense, Reliantco in September also applied for a “non-party disclosure” (NPD) of evidence against Dr. Wright, claiming it was actually him operating Ang’s account. A judge threw out the bulk of that request, allowing only a miniscule part of it—records concerning Wright and Ang’s home network and VPN arrangement.

Reliantco then claimed—again unsuccessfully—that Dr. Wright had given evidence untruthfully in his NPD, and had not properly updated the court on RIPE invoices following its summary judgment in September. A Deputy Judge  had already rejected those claims, but this month, Reliantco asked the court to reconsider that decision and reduce the £63,000 awarded for Wright’s costs to zero.

Counsel for Dr. Wright, Nikki Singla QC, argued that the NPD application was “misconceived” and that the court did not have the jurisdiction to order Wright to produce the evidence. Furthermore, the Deputy Judge who initially ordered the costs awarded had already considered Reliantco’s points, and Dr. Wright had not delayed in producing any materials.

This week, another judge agreed with all Singla’s points. He found there was “no sound basis to revisit the order of the Deputy Judge”; that the initial NPD application was wide-ranging and unsuccessful (reflected in the Deputy Judge’s order); and that it was inappropriate for another court to reverse the prior decision. It was not seeking to “re-judge” or undermine matters already decided, he said.

Reliantco now has 14 days to pay all of the costs awarded to both Wright and Ang. In attempting to freeze and withhold legitimately-earned trading profits from one of its customers, the firm has only incurred further expense. Its attempts in internal emails to find reasons to deny Ang access to her account and funds have only further damaged the reputation of trading platform and exchanges in the all-too-often murky world of digital assets.

All judges’ decisions in this matter have indicated strongly that the exchange and its staff acted improperly in holding the funds, and that there was no wrongdoing on Dr. Wright or Ang’s part. Given the vague references to Dr. Wright’s media profile and perceived reputation in its communications, the decisions also indicate the company had not adequately considered the information. It should serve as another example where making decisions on Dr. Wright based on media reputation has proven ill-conceived—an example of which others should take notice.

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