OffshoreAlert owner David Marchant promptly posted all of the documents emailed to him from Schools’s solicitors on the OffshoreAlert website.
Marchant, who is normally based in the US but who has been in London this week for OffshoreAlert’s first-ever European conference, greeted his conference audience at the May Fair Hotel on Monday by matter-of-factly asking if there were any process servers in the room, as he said he believed there would be an effort made to physically serve him with the papers during his visit.
As of this morning, Marchant had not been handed any legal papers, he told International Adviser. However, he said he thought that receiving legal documents by mail and email constitutes service under the UK system, unlike the US system, where physical service would have to take place.
In 12 pages of documents sent to Marchant, Schools’s solicitors, Rodney Warren & Co, noted that Marchant and his company, formally identified here as KYC News Inc, were “both liable under English law for the damage done” to School’s reputation by the publication of his website “within this jurisdiction”.
Allegations against Schools
Schools, who is British and a former lawyer himself, bases his claims for damages on a series of articles Marchant wrote and published on OffshoreAlert, beginning in August, although it is understood Schools’s claims do not relate to this first story but to subsequent ones.
The articles, which may still be viewed on the OffshoreAlert website, make a range of allegations about the way the Schools’s Axiom Legal Financing Fund was set up and managed.
As reported, the fund suspended redemptions on 26 October, and announced School’s resignation as founder and chief executive of Tangerine Investment Management, which marketed the fund.
Subsequently the directors of the Axiom fund let Tangerine go as the fund’s managers, and said an extraordinary general meeting would be held in December, according to a letter to investors dated 14 November and seen by International Adviser.
A statement on Tangerine’s website, which has since been taken down, blamed the need to suspend subscriptions and redemptions on “adverse allegations promulgated” by OffshoreAlert.
In a statement, Marchant said OffshoreAlert “stands behind our articles about Tim Schools and Axiom Legal Financing Fund”.
He added: “Even the notorious British libel law will not prevent or inhibit OffshoreAlert from continuing to report about this matter of great public interest.
“The lawsuit is without merit and it will be treated with the lack of respect that it deserves."