Appeal poser facing Wharf in Wheelock Marden ruling

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 April, 1997, 12:00am

Wheelock Marden & Co is expected to face a six-week deadline from Monday to decide whether it will appeal against an award made against it in favour of a Danish finance company last month.

The six-week countdown will be set in motion when Mr Justice Barnett seals the order on his judgment. Sources say that should happen after the weekend.

The judgment to be sealed relates to the principal amount of damages Wheelock Marden has been ordered to pay Danish company ADS.

A hearing on May 9 will finalise the amount of interest accompanying the principal amount.

Mr Justice Barnett found Wheelock Marden and one of its former directors liable for providing misleading financial information when renegotiating loans with ADS in the early 1980s.

Wheelock Marden was ordered to pay 188.9 million Danish krone (about HK$225 million) in damages, plus 13 per cent interest.

There is still some disagreement about the exact date from which the payment of the interest will commence.

A hearing to determine responsibility for the court costs is expected to be held in a few months' time. The total court costs from the six-month trial are expected to be well over HK$100 million.

Wharf Holdings, which took over Wheelock Marden in 1985, has indicated that it will bear responsibility for payment of any amount arising from the litigation and accruing to Wheelock Marden.

A Wharf spokesman earlier this week said the company was considering the judgment with its legal advisers. Yesterday, Wharf did not return calls seeking comment.

Wharf also is embroiled in a court case in the US city of Denver, where the conglomerate is being sued by a US cable television company for allegedly breaking an oral contract.