THE Privy Council has given supermodel Elle Macpherson the chance to appeal against a Manx court’s decision in her multi-million pound dispute with the liquidators of the island’s Kaupthing bank.
Australian-born Miss Macpherson, who now presents Britain’s Next Top Model on Sky television, had a landmark ruling against the liquidators of the island’s collapsed Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander bank overturned on appeal.
Liquidators of KSF (IoM) had brought a claim against her in the island’s High Court but the catwalk legend’s legal team won her case by invoking a legal principle dating back 300 years. But the appeal court overturned the judgment of Deemster Andrew Moran QC.
The liquidators had refused to offset the supermodel’s deposit with the now-insolvent bank against money owed by her nominee company to the bank for a mortgage on a house in London.
Miss Macpherson, who first earned her title as ‘The Body’ in the 1980s, set up an Isle of Man nominee company Light House Living Ltd in 2006, to allow her to buy the property, while keeping her address private.
When she decided to sell the house in September 2009, she attempted to offset her £2.54 million deposit with KSF against the £7.8 million which her nominee company still owed for the mortgage.
But liquidators refused such a ‘set-off’, because the borrower was a company – albeit one owned by Miss Macpherson – whereas the deposit was held in her personal capacity. Appeal Court judges Geoffrey Tattersall QC and Deemster David Doyle ruled that Deemster Moran had erred in concluding that there was a debt due from Miss Macpherson to the bank.
She took her case to the Privy Council which said in a statement: ‘At the Court at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty was pleased with the advice of Her Privy Council to approve and to order those charged with administering the High Court of the Isle of Man to reverse, alter or vary the judgement.’