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Venice appeals court finds in favour of Quantum Blockchain subsidiary

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Venice appeals court finds in favour of Quantum Blockchain subsidiary

(Sharecast News) - Quantum Blockchain Technologies announced on Tuesday that the Court of Appeal of Venice issued a judgement on 10 June regarding the appeals in the lawsuit filed by its subsidiary, Clear Leisure 2017 (CL17), against the former directors and statutory auditors of Sipiem in Liquidazione (Sipiem).
The AIM-traded firm said the court largely upheld the damages awarded to CL17, initially announced on 1 November 2022, with a minor reduction of €0.11m, bringing the total damages to about €6.1m.

It said the court confirmed the liability of Sipiem's former directors and statutory auditors, extending that liability to members of the internal audit committee and the main defendant's family members.

The court also accepted the withdrawal of an appeal by one of the former directors against her insurer.

As a result, CL17 could now enforce the judgement for a total amount of €6.08m in damages, plus interest and adjustments for inflation, along with €0.09m in trial court legal expenses and €0.05m in appeal legal expenses, the latter to be covered by an insurer.

Other legal expenses were mutually compensated, with €5,000 assessed against all parties.

The judgement invalidated a €0.7m settlement agreement previously disclosed on 16 May and 4 June, as the appeal ruling was issued before the scheduled hearing to approve the settlement.

As a result, the original agreement between CL17 and the Sipiem receiver, granting the receiver 30% of any recovered sums net of legal fees, remained in effect.

Quantum Blockchain said it was currently assessing the situation with its legal team, and was in discussions with the receiver, the statutory auditors' lawyers, and the insurer's lawyers regarding the contractual implications of the voided settlement.

It said it would provide updates on those negotiations as soon as possible.

The company said Sipiem's statutory auditors were now liable to pay €1m of the total judgement, replacing the previously-agreed €0.7m settlement.

"We are extremely pleased with the Venice Court of Appeal result, which confirms [the] previous ruling while extending the scope of its enforceability," said executive chairman Francesco Gardin.

"QBT subsidiary CL17 will now focus on the collection of the €6.08m plus interest and adjustments for inflation."

Gardin noted that CL17 was also awarded €0.13m for legal expenses.

"The company will ensure that CL17 proceeds with maximum effort to seek and collect the funds from the defendants."

At 1012 BST, shares in Quantum Blockchain Technologies were up 3.75% at 0.83p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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