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Investments

3

Portfolio Exits

3

Funds

2

About HSBC Bank Middle East

HSBC Bank Middle East is a private equity firm based out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

HSBC Bank Middle East Headquarter Location

Dubai,

United Arab Emirates

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Service of a Writ of Summons on companies during the “new normal” - A case comment on Genuine Pte Ltd v HSBC Bank Middle East Lt...

Jun 2, 2021

To embed, copy and paste the code into your website or blog: <iframe frameborder="1" height="620" scrolling="auto" src="//www.jdsupra.com/post/contentViewerEmbed.aspx?fid=1be1be24-21ee-451f-8e7b-06f417d7a923" style="border: 2px solid #ccc; overflow-x:hidden !important; overflow:hidden;" width="100%"></iframe> Introduction Service of a Writ of Summons (Writ) on a company is typically effected by leaving the Writ at or sending the Writ by registered post to the registered office of the company. Corporate defendants need to be vigilant when a Writ has been served, lest a default judgment is entered against them when they do not respond. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “work from home” (WFH) arrangements have become the “new normal”. This raises the question: if a Writ is served on a company’s registered address when there is no one on-site to collect it, will the Writ be considered validly served? This question was explored in the recent Singapore High Court (SGHC) decision of Genuine Pte Ltd v HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd Dubai [2021] SGHC 104 (Genuine). Brief Facts In response to COVID-19, the Singapore Government implemented Circuit Breaker measures from 7 April to 1 June 2020. Subsequently, Genuine Pte Ltd, the Defendant, was permitted to operate from its registered office from 19 June 2020 onwards with the easing of Circuit Breaker measures. However, the Defendant chose to continue with full remote WFH arrangements. On 4 August 2020, HSBC, the Plaintiff, served a Writ by leaving a copy of the document at the Defendant’s registered office. On 19 August 2020, a default judgment was issued as the Defendant failed to enter appearance. The Defendant only discovered the Writ on 12 September 2020, when a director of the Defendant returned to the office. Dissatisfied, the Defendant sought to set aside the default judgment for being an irregular judgment on the basis that no one was physically present at its registered office at the time of service. The Defendant argued that it was merely complying with a circular issued by the Ministry of Manpower which stipulated that remote work arrangements should remain the default. Decision The Defendant sought to rely on the English High Court (EWHC) decision of Melanie Stanley and London Borough of Towers Hamlet [2020] EWHC 1622 (QB) (Melanie Stanley). In Melanie Stanley, the EWHC set aside a default judgment entered in default of appearance during the COVID-19 pandemic. It held that the Writ was invalidly served because it was served at a time when it was known or should have been known that office premises would be closed down just before the start of a national emergency “lockdown” (the equivalent of Singapore’s Circuit Breaker). However, the SGHC disagreed with the Defendant and distinguished the situation before it. In Melanie Stanley, the Writ was served at the very start of the “lockdown” period and so “there was simply no way” the defendant company “could have become aware” of the service of the Writ. In contrast, the Defendant “could have become aware” that Writ was served. The Plaintiff effected service of the Writ about one and a half months after the Phase Two Re-opening. The easing of the Circuit Breaker measures during this period made it possible for the Defendant to make arrangements for personnel to return to the office, even if not every day, to check to see if there were matters that needed attending to. However, the Defendant made no such arrangements. Further, the Defendant knew that the Plaintiff had threatened to commence legal action. The SGHC accordingly held that the Writ was validly served. Case Comment The decision in Genuine only addressed the situation where it is possible for employees to return to the office even though WFH is the default arrangement. It remains to be seen whether the Singapore Courts will adopt the English position in Melanie Stanley when writs are served during a Circuit Breaker type situation, where all non-essential businesses have to stop operating from their office premises and residents have to stay home save for very limited exceptions. The lesson to be drawn from the decision in Genuine is that even though many companies have adopted WFH as the default arrangement, it would be prudent for such companies to put in place a system for someone to check the registered office for documents that have to be attended to by the company. This is because it is well established that service of documents at a company’s registered office is valid even if the company never received those documents, such as when the company had already ceased to do business at its registered office. Alternatively, if threatened legal proceedings are imminent, a potential defendant may wish to appoint a law firm to accept service on its behalf to ensure that any document served is not inadvertently missed. The decision in Genuine is currently under appeal. It will be interesting to see if the Appellate Division of the High Court will give any guidance on service of Writs (and other originating processes) during Circuit Breaker type situations even though it is not the situation squarely before it. Dentons Rodyk thanks and acknowledges Associate Elias Arun and Intern Nicholas Tan for their contributions to this article.

HSBC Bank Middle East Investments

3 Investments

HSBC Bank Middle East has made 3 investments. Their latest investment was in Aldar Properties as part of their Loan on July 7, 2021.

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HSBC Bank Middle East Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

7/5/2021

Loan

Aldar Properties

$81.69M

Yes

1

6/30/2005

Growth Equity

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$99M

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10

6/30/2004

Growth Equity

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$99M

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10

Date

7/5/2021

6/30/2005

6/30/2004

Round

Loan

Growth Equity

Growth Equity

Company

Aldar Properties

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Amount

$81.69M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

1

10

10

HSBC Bank Middle East Portfolio Exits

3 Portfolio Exits

HSBC Bank Middle East has 3 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Byrne Equipment on March 27, 2014.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

3/27/2014

Leveraged Buyout - II

Venture Capital Fund Bahrain, and Undisclosed Investors

1

00/00/0000

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10

00/00/0000

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10

Date

3/27/2014

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Exit

Leveraged Buyout - II

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Companies

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Valuation

Acquirer

Venture Capital Fund Bahrain, and Undisclosed Investors

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Sources

1

10

10

HSBC Bank Middle East Acquisitions

5 Acquisitions

HSBC Bank Middle East acquired 5 companies. Their latest acquisition was Byrne Equipment on June 30, 2007.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

6/30/2007

Leveraged Buyout

Leveraged Buyout

1

12/29/2006

Leveraged Buyout

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$99M

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10

6/30/2004

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$99M

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10

6/30/2004

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$99M

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10

3/17/2003

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$99M

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10

Date

6/30/2007

12/29/2006

6/30/2004

6/30/2004

3/17/2003

Investment Stage

Leveraged Buyout

Leveraged Buyout

Companies

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Valuation

Total Funding

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

Note

Leveraged Buyout

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Sources

1

10

10

10

10

HSBC Bank Middle East Fund History

2 Fund Histories

HSBC Bank Middle East has 2 funds, including MENA Infrastructure Fund.

Closing Date

Fund

Fund Type

Status

Amount

Sources

11/14/2007

MENA Infrastructure Fund

REAL Assets

$300M

1

4/1/2003

HSBC Private Equity Middle East

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$99M

10

Closing Date

11/14/2007

4/1/2003

Fund

MENA Infrastructure Fund

HSBC Private Equity Middle East

Fund Type

REAL Assets

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Status

Amount

$300M

$99M

Sources

1

10

HSBC Bank Middle East Team

1 Team Member

HSBC Bank Middle East has 1 team member, including former Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Deakin.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Matthew Deakin

Chief Executive Officer

Former

Name

Matthew Deakin

Work History

Title

Chief Executive Officer

Status

Former

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