CLARKSON BRACED FOR RUSSIAN CLAIMS
UK-based shipping services company Clarkson PLC has confirmed that its subsidiary H Clarkson, together with several other defendants, has been placed on notice that it will now be joined early next week as a defendant in a High Court action brought by the Russian state-owned shipping company, Sovcomflot.
The amount being claimed is about US$33m. The news initially knocked £1.80 (US$3.61) off Clarkson shares, taking them down to £7.90 on Friday but they recovered by £0.70 by the close.
H Clarkson has also been served with an additional claim in the High Court, for about US$21m, brought by a subsidiary of Novoship, the Russian shipping company which has recently announced it will merge with Sovcomflot.
In a statement the company said: “Clarkson will defend its position strongly in both cases. Its view of these proceedings is that both cases are about litigation between powerful Russian interests in which Clarksons has been caught up as a third party.”
The case has prompted Clarkson non-executive director Martin Watson to resign. He is a senior consultant to Watson, Farley & Williams LLP. Sovcomflot is a long standing client of Watson, Farley and Williams LLP, including during the period which is the subject of the High Court action. According to Clarkson: “Mr Watson felt that the potential conflicts of interest which this might give rise to made his remaining a director of Clarkson impossible.”
Clarkson chairman Tim Harris said: 'We very much regret losing an excellent non-Executive Director, for whom everyone in the Company has the highest regard.'