Businessman who lost Sheffield United fight fails in first stage of appeal bid

A wealthy Yorkshire businessman who lost a High Court battle for control of Sheffield United has failed in the first stage of an appeal bid.

Kevin McCabe and co-owner Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family, earlier this year fought over the running of the Premier League club at a High Court trial in London after falling out.

A judge heard how Sheffield United Ltd, a company controlled by Mr McCabe and his family, had alleged “conspiracy” and “unfairly prejudicial conduct”.

UTB LLC, a company controlled by Prince Abdullah, wanted declarations in respect of its rights under an investment and shareholders’ agreement

Mr Justice Fancourt ruled in favour Prince Abdullah.

The judge was told on Monday, at a follow-up High Court hearing in London, that Mr McCabe wanted appeal judges to consider the case.

Litigants must first get permission to mount an appeal and show that they have an arguable case.

Either the judge who made the decision, or a Court of Appeal judge, can give that permission.

Lawyers representing Mr McCabe, and Sheffield United Ltd, asked Mr Justice Fancourt to give them permission to mount a challenge in the Court of Appeal.

But Mr Justice Fancourt refused.

He said he did not think that Sheffield United Ltd had a realistic prospect of overturning his ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers representing Mr McCabe are now expected to make a second bid and ask a Court of Appeal judge to give them permission to mount an appeal.

Mr Justice Fancourt was considering a number of legal issues – including arguments about who should pick up particular lawyers’ bills.

Sources estimate that each side has spent around £1 million on lawyers.

Sheffield United Ltd will have to pick up many of the bills run up by UTB because rules say losers generally pay winners’ legal costs.

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