Telephone Systems International and Ehsanollah Bayat Defeat US$400 Million Claim Brought by Lord Michael Cecil, Stuart Bentham and Alexander Grinling Bringing 9 Years of Litigation to a Close

By Paul Hastings Llp, PRNE
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

LONDON, August 11, 2011 -

Following nine years of legal proceedings in New York and London, Telephone Systems International (”TSI”), an operator of mobile telephone services in Afghanistan, and its principal shareholder Ehsanollah Bayat have secured a decisive victory in the English Courts against Lord Michael Cecil, Stuart Bentham and Alexander Grinling.  

Cecil, Bentham and Grinling brought proceedings in the English High Court in April 2009, seeking damages of US$400 million against TSI, Bayat, TSI’s subsidiary Afghan Wireless Communications Company (”AWCC”) and Mark Warner based on their claim for shares in TSI.  TSI and Bayat challenged the claim at hearings before the High Court in March 2010 and the Court of Appeal in December 2010.  Over the course of these two hearings, the English Courts rejected the claims, most emphatically in the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 18 February 2011.  Cecil and Bentham then applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgment, but that application was turned down in July 2011, closing off the claimants’ final avenue for bringing this claim.  

TSI and Bayat have always maintained that the claims brought by Cecil, Bentham and Grinling are groundless and are delighted that the result in the English Courts vindicates their position after nine years of litigation.

The U.K. litigation followed previous lawsuits in the U.S. in which Bayat’s companies TSI and AWCC sued Bentham, Cecil and their companies for, among other things, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

Paul Hastings partners Michelle Duncan and Stephen Parker successfully acted for TSI and Bayat in the English proceedings.

Paul Hastings LLP is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit for more information.

Contact: Allan Maines, +1-404-815-2500, allanmaines at ; Michelle Duncan, +44(0)20-3023-5162, michelleduncan at

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