Austrian Airlines Airbus A320


Sheikh Mohamed’s victory in the Austrian Airlines case makes headlines in Germany and Austria

The German and Austrian media have this week been full of the news that Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber has been victorious in his case against Lufthansa Group, the parent company of Austrian Airlines.

Dozens of newspapers with millions of readers reported that “An auditor appointed by the court as an expert confirmed in his audit report that AUA should have reported a loss of 235 million euros instead of the officially stated profit of 3.3 million euros“.

“Consequence of the reversal: AUA instigated a claim for damages against the investor in autumn 2008. In March of this year there was a ruling: the Vienna Commercial Court rejected the AUA claim. The documents handed over by the airline were not sufficient to get a correct picture of the plaintiff's economic situation, according to the reasoning of the judgement. It is clear that Al Jaber would have refrained from the planned investment.”

The papers go on to say that “In mid-April (Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber) announced that he would take legal action against AUA, or rather its parent company and, in his view, its legal successor Lufthansa "to compensate for the business and reputational damage caused to his group of companies by AUA's unfounded lawsuit in the course of the court proceedings". According to a preliminary estimate, this damage amounts to "well over one billion euros".

The Lufthansa Group, it was reported “Reacted tight-lipped to the announcement of the court’s judgement: "As a matter of principle, we do not provide any information on ongoing proceedings.”

The papers reported that according to Frank J. Bernardi, a specialist lawyer for commercial and corporate law at Rödl & Partner said “The Sheikh has good prospects of prevailing in the appeal proceedings against AUA as well. "From experience and knowing the well-reasoned judgement, the probability is relatively high that the initial judgement will stand in the appeal proceedings," said Bernardi.


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