Yachting Awards to sail on as court sinks injunction attempt

Judge irked by plaintiff's claims of irreparable damages

An attempt to stop the first edition of the Malta Yachting Awards ceremony was thwarted this morning after a civil court rejected a warrant of prohibitory injunction filed by a company irked that organisers had not engaged its services. 

Malta Business Review and its managing director Martin Vella had filed the warrant against Yachting Malta Ltd, the organiser of the awards ceremony which is scheduled to be held this evening at the Westin Dragonara Ballroom, St Julian's.

In their application, the plaintiffs had claimed that they would suffer irremediable damages should the event be allowed to proceed.

The First Hall, Civil Court presided by Madame Justice Lorraine Schembri Orland, declared that the plaintiffs had failed to prove how they would suffer irreparable damages should the event be held according to schedule.

The court pointed out that although the plaintiffs had been informed since January 9 that the services of MBR Ltd were not to be engaged, the warrant to stop the event was only filed recently.

"I have been waiting for you to tell me what these irremediable damages are," the judge declared, telling the plaintiffs that she had been tempted to reject the warrant outright.

The court explained that if the plaintiff company had a claim for damages against the defendants, it ought to have instituted a civil suit rather than file a warrant to stop today's social event.

MBR Ltd lawyers argued that his client had replied to a call for expression of interest related to the awards ceremony and had communicated with Yachting Malta Ltd since last August. However, after his client's ideas were allegedly taken up by the organisers of the event, MBR Ltd was not engaged. This resulted in damages for his client, the court was told.

Lawyer Michael Tanti-Dougall on behalf of Malta Yachting Ltd argued that the action was merely revengeful since MBR Ltd had expected to profit through sponsorships and commissions on tickets for the event.

The court declared that there was no legal basis to uphold the warrant and thus granted the go ahead for this event intended to acknowledge those individuals, clubs, organisations or groups of people who have made a significant contribution to yachting as a sport and industry.

Lawyers Keith Borg and Andy Ellul was counsel to plaintiffs. Lawyers Rosette Cassar and Michael Tanti-Dougall appeared for Malta Yachting Ltd, while Daniel Buttigieg was counsel to the Royal Yachting Club.