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Mishcon acts for former Torex boss taking on RBS and KPMG in £128m fraud claim

Mishcon de Reya is acting in a £128m claim against the Royal Bank of Scotland and KPMG brought by former Torex Retail chief executive Neil Mitchell, with Dentons and Stephenson Harwood advising the defendants.

Mishcon de Reya disputes partner Richard Leedham is leading for the claimant with Stephen Auld QC, Michael Clark and Sophie Webber of One Essex Court as barristers.

Dentons partner Steven Mills leading on the case, and has instructed Fountain Court’s Patrick Goodall QC and Richard Power.

Also named in the case are Torex financial advisers KPMG who are being advised by Stephenson Harwood partner Ros Prince.

Mitchell’s case is being heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in London and alleges fraud against RBS, KPMG and two KPMG named partners. He is also bringing a separate action in the US against New York-based firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Mitchell claims that collusion between RBS, Cerberus and members of Torex’s advisers led to the purchase of the company at around £400m below the firm’s value, which caused its collapse.

He first brought his concerns to the Serious Fraud Office after Torex was sold to Cerberus in 2007 for £204m, but was later dismissed from the firm.

Mitchell said: ‘This is a landmark case against a state-funded bank which I allege has been acting against the interests of taxpayers for a number of years. I am seeking justice not only for myself, but also in the public interest of the hundreds of viable British businesses, thousands of employees and their families.’

A spokesperson for RBS said: ‘We have thoroughly investigated Mr Mitchell’s allegations and believe them to be entirely without merit. Mr Mitchell has chosen to issue legal proceedings which will be met by a full defence.’

RBS is also expected to face further claims running into the billions of pounds from hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses that they were forced out of business for the bank’s profit. That litigation is being brought by Enyo Law.

A spokesperson for KPMG said: ‘We strongly refute the allegation that KPMG or its members have acted improperly; there is no substance to the claims that have been made. The Courts have previously dismissed similar allegations and we have applied to have the current proceedings struck out.’

Cerberus Capital Management declined to comment.