Legal Business Blogs

Defendants shift advisers in favour of Quinn Emanuel in Arcadia $335m oil trading case

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Ted Greeno has been brought in to defend ex-Arcadia Petroleum chief executive Peter Bosworth and former chief financial officer Colin Hurley against a $335m fraud suit at the High Court from their past employer after Allen & Overy (A&O) was dropped from the case.

Arcadia Petroleum, an oil trading-firm owned by Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen, won a High Court ruling in April allowing it to proceed with claims against Bosworth, Hurley and two other former employees. The company, represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Philip Croall, overcame the defendants argument that the English court doesn’t have jurisdiction over them as Swiss residents and an asset-freezing order was upheld.

On Friday (29 May), Bosworth and Hurley signed off a notice of change relieving A&O litigation partner Mona Vaswani of her duties and installing Quinn Emanuel heavyweight Ted Greeno as their legal representative. Greeno has brought in David Foxton QC of Essex Court Chambers to spearhead an appeal. Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers continues to be instructed by the claimant via Freshfields.

The oil trading firm alleges that Bosworth and Hurley carried out a fraudulent chain of trades through companies they owned or controlled to divert profits away from Arcadia. It alleges conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of employment contracts and is claiming $335m including interest and costs with the net figure standing at $287m.

The pair left Arcadia Petroleum in 2013 when the company began an investigation, with two-decade long employee Bosworth replaced by BP executive Paul Adams.

The decision in April held that where an employer brings a claim in tort rather than a contractual claim against an employee, the courts of the European country where the harmful event occurred will have jurisdiction.

Fredriksen, who is currently estimated to be worth $11.5bn, owns Arcadia through his investment vehicle Farahead Holdings.