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NewLead JMEG concedes liability in breach of contract litigation

Athens: After a long-running court case, NewLead JMEG has filed a stipulation of liability in the breach of contract court case brought by London-based TransAsia Commodities, which is seeking $6.2m in compensation.

NewLead JMEG has conceded that it did breach the terms of the coal purchase agreement by failing to deliver the 110,000 tonnes of coal to TransAsia. The defendant filed a stipulation of liability for breach of contract to the Supreme Court of the County of New York on Thursday.

NewLead JMEG has also withdrawn its first and second counterclaims against TransAsia.

The first counterclaim alleged that the trader made false representations in an attempt to defraud the mining company by inducing it to sign the coal purchase agreement.

The second alleged that TransAsia breached the purchase agreement by failing to supply a letter of credit from its bank, and that the trader supplied a forged letter of credit from another bank to NewLead JMEG.

The stipulation deals with count 1 of TransAsia’s complaint, which was filed to the court in December 2013.

The other three counts in the complaint accuse the defendants NewLead Holdings, its CEO Michael Zolotas, coal mining subsidiary NewLead JMEG and its chief executive Jan Berkowitz of deliberately making misrepresentations about their ownership of coal mining assets and ability to fulfil sales contracts.

In its complaint, the plaintiff claims the defendants made these misrepresentations in order to inflate NewLead Holdings’ share price and prevent it being delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange, and to obtain credit from banks. The defendants have denied these allegations in full.

In previous hearings, the plaintiff has called for a jury trial with which to deal with these allegations. TransAsia’s counsel was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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