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Quinn Emanuel and Simmons win for Blackstone fund and Barclays in first financial list decision

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Simmons & Simmons have beat Stephenson Harwood in the first judgment delivered on the financial list since the specialist court opened late last year.

The three firms advised on the dispute between Blackstone fund GSO Credit, Barclays Bank and HCC International Insurance Company after the parties took different views on meaning of terms in documentation published by the Loan Market Association (LMA). While GSO had formally sued Barclays, the pair essentially agreed on the meaning and effect of the trades, and Barclays took action against insurer HCC.

Quinn represented GSO Credit, with London co-managing partner Richard East and Robert Hickmott leading, and instructed Tom Smith QC and Andrew Shaw of South Square.

Defendant Barclays turned to Simmons & Simmons partner Richard Bunce, and instructed Bankim Thanki QC and Rupert Allen of Fountain Court Chambers.

Stephenson Harwood litigator Stephen Roberts advised third party HCC International Insurance Company, alongside Guy Philipps QC, also of Fountain Court Chambers.

Until recently, English courts’ financial cases have been dealt with by both the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division. But in July 2014 the Lord Chief Justice announced that the judiciary would examine what more it could do to meet the needs of court users in financial cases.

The financial list was launched for claims linked to the financial markets, which were worth over £50m or which require particular expertise in financial markets or raise issues of general. These could include transactions in the fixed income, equity, derivatives, loan, FX and commodities markets, as well as complex banking transactions and sovereign debt. The judges are drawn from both the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division.

At the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law Annual Lecture 2016 earlier this month Sir William Blair, the judge in charge of the Commercial Court, said: ‘So far, the list appears to be operating well, and by the end of 2015, as well as two existing cases which were transferred in, eight new claims had been commenced in the list.’

For more on this topic see: ‘The end of the tunnel – litigation and regulatory challenges in financial services.’