One of Kaupthing’s celebrity clients, the Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson has won the right to appeal a judgment in her case in the Isle of Man. Macpherson took out a loan with Kaupthing’s Isle of Man branch. The liquidator insisted Macpherson should pay back £7.8m but she claimed she could offset her deposits with the bank of £2.5m to lower the outstanding loan and should only pay the difference, just over £5m. The case was further complicated because the deposit was in Macpherson’s name whereas the loan was in the name of a nominee company, Light House Living Ltd*. With Kaupthing’s full acceptance Macpherson chose to have a company as the owner of her property in order to guard her privacy and hinder that the address landed in the public domain.
Macpherson, who in her earlier modelling days was simply called “The Body,” now runs a successful lingerie business and lives in London. She took the liquidator to court, won the first instance but when the High Court in the island sided with the liquidator Macpherson turned to the highest court of appeal for the British Crown Dependencies, such as the Isle of Man, this highest court being one of these archaic English institutions the Queen’s Privy Council. The Council has now granted the model appeal, which means she still has the chance to a successful challenge. The administrator has been ordered to pay Macphersons’s legal bill, expected to be a six figure sum.
The final ruling will be of importance not only to Macpherson but to others in the same situation.
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