Ghenavat and others v Simon Lyons: Defendant found liable in harassment

The director and shareholder of a property company has been held to have harassed his fellow director-shareholders after the breakdown of their company.

His Honour Judge Lewis, sitting as a judge of the High Court, this morning handed down judgment in a harassment action brought by two directors of a property company – Farid Alizadeh Ghenavat and Andrew Rahamim – and the father of one of the directors, Michael Rahamim (the First, Second and Third Claimants), against a third director, Simon Lyons, the Defendant.  Trial took place over five days earlier this year.

The First and Second Claimants and the Defendant are co-directors of and shareholders in a property company, Enstar Capital Limited. The relationship between the First and Second Claimants and the Defendant soured.  The business became dysfunctional. The First and Second Claimants sought to start a new property company without the Defendant. Enstar Capital no longer trades.

In the wake of the fracture within Enstar Capital, between March 2021 and September 2022, Mr Lyons sent hundreds of defamatory and insulting emails and other messages to members of the Claimants’ families, friends of the Claimants, law firms, business associates, contacts and clients of Enstar Capital and/or of the Claimants, charities, community and religious organisations and places of worship, media organisations, a golf club, a college and many other companies and individuals. The Defendant sent many of the emails in deceptive terms, adopting the name of the First and Second Claimants’ new company and not identifying himself. The Defendant also created bogus domain names for other companies associated with the First and Second Claimants and arranged for unwanted goods to be delivered to a law firm that acted for the First Claimant’s family trust.

After notification to him of an intention to seek interim injunctive relief, undertakings were entered into by Mr Lyons. The core of these undertakings were restrictions on the Defendant’s communications with some 120 persons and bodies.

The Claimants sought only permanent injunctive relief at trial.  No damages were sought.

Finding the claim properly brought in harassment and that the Defendant had harassed the Claimants, HHJ Lewis held that a permanent injunction should be made in terms substantially similar to the undertakings.

The judgment can be downloaded from the ‘Files’ link below.

5RB’s John Stables acted for the Claimants, instructed by Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP.