Protiviti appeal against MMG court case dismissed
Protiviti’s appeal against a legal case brought by Saudi Arabia’s MMG has been dismissed by DIFC Courts, according to a statement issued by the Al-Mojil family
Protiviti’s appeal against a legal case initiated by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Al-Mojil Group (MMG) has been dismissed, according to the Al-Mojil family.
The kingdom-based contractor claims that Protiviti Member Firm (Middle East) Ltd, which is registered in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), acted “negligently and libellously” in its investigation of MMG and its management.
A statement issued on behalf of the Al-Mojil family said that Protiviti’s appeal, which related to the earlier decision of HE Justice Al Muhairi, was dismissed in the DIFC Courts.
Justice Sir Richard Field, who delivered the latest judgement, said that the primary issue to be determined during the full hearing – scheduled to take place in Dubai in 2017 – would be: “Whether Protiviti’s conclusions were inaccurate, having been negligently arrived at due to a failure to conduct a competent and thorough investigation.”
In 2012, MMG incurred significant losses, and Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) suspended trading of the firm’s shares on Tadawul. Later that year, the CMA began to investigate the publicly listed contractor’s financial reporting for the period 2005 to 2012. The authority instructed Protiviti to document its findings in a report, which was delivered in 2013.
The Al-Mojil family has since questioned the validity of legal proceedings brought against MMG by the CMA in Saudi Arabian courts, claiming that the authority’s case relied almost exclusively on the report prepared by Protiviti.
A statement issued earlier this year, in relation to the DIFC Courts case, said: “Messrs Al-Mojil have brought legal proceedings against Protiviti in relation to [its] report. They allege that Protiviti lacked even a licensed capacity to undertake the work. Furthermore, they allege that the report contains significant material errors, misrepresentations and untrue statements, and is defamatory, making arbitrary and unproven allegations.”
Commenting in the Al-Mojil family’s most recent statement, Adel Al-Mojil, son of MMG founder Mohammad Al-Mojil, said: “My family and I thank God for the just and fair judgement of the DIFC Court, which has decisively ruled that our proceedings in the DIFC can continue.
“This positive development allows us to move forward in tackling the injustice we face as a consequence of Protiviti’s conduct, and to clear our family name once and for all,” he added.
Mohammad and Adel Al-Mojil were each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for misrepresenting MMG’s value in June 2016. A third unnamed executive from the contractor received a three-year prison sentence, according to news agency, Reuters.
The Al-Mojil family is confident that the outcome of the DIFC Courts proceedings will have a “crucial impact” on the validity of the CMA’s charges.
“Thanks to this judgement, we hope we have moved one step further towards justice for the family,” Adel Al-Mojil concluded in his most recent statement.
Construction Week has contacted Protiviti for comment, but has yet to receive a response.