Alvaro Sobrinho, former head of Banco Espirito Santo’s Angolan unit, is set to continue his claim for damages in London against the publisher of Portuguese newspaper Expresso, his legal representatives confirmed this week. Sobrinho had claimed damages to his reputation in the UK following the publication of an article in Expresso criticizing loans made under his leadership. Since publication, Sobrinho has been cleared of the allegations during a Parliamentary hearing in Portugal, yet according to the statement he “continues to be affected in his business and philantrophic activities in the UK”.
Following the ruling of Judge James Dingemans in London in January, the statement read:
“The Court recognised the established and good reputation of Dr Álvaro Sobrinho in the UK, achieved through his work as a banker, investor and philanthropist, yet deemed sufficient harm was not caused by these articles in this jurisdiction. This goes against the personal and professional experiences encountered by our client since publication, and he continues to be affected in his business and philanthropic activities in the UK.
The Court formally recorded that Impresa did not seek to justify the meaning of the articles it published, which meaning was held to be capable of causing serious harm.
We will now be seeking permission to appeal.”
According to the judgement, Sobrinho became executive chairman of Banco Valor, another Angolan bank, in 2013, and is currently chairman of UK charity Planet Earth Institute.