Legal Business Blogs

Simmons & Simmons picked to defend RBS against £800m rate-rigging claim

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has instructed Simmons & Simmons to defend a £800m claim from former Sheffield lawyer turned property mogul Glenn Maud over alleged losses from Euribor rigging.

Maud launched legal action in London’s High Court over a finance package signed in 2008 to buy Spanish bank Santander’s global headquarters for £1.5bn. He purchased the property through his Spanish property vehicle Marme Inversiones and RBS led on the finance package alongside ING Bank, HSH Nordbank, Bayerische Landesbank, and Caixa D’Estalvis.

One of the biggest claims in London over Euribor rigging, Maud alleges RBS knew it was manipulating the European interest rate benchmarks and as such should be paid ‘damages for fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation or deceit’ for the interest rate swaps he entered into.

The British bank was part of a group, including Citigroup and JP Morgan, fined what was a record €1.7bn by the European Commission over the benchmark interest rate rigging cartel in late 2013.

RBS denies the allegations and has hired Simmons & Simmons partner Richard Bunce to spearhead its defence. The four other banks involved in the deal are also named as defendants in the claim and have instructed Allen & Overy partner Andrew Denny to defend them.

Bunce has instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ Adrian Beltrami QC and Laura John as counsel, with Denny picking Fountain Court’s Tim Howe QC and Adam Sher for the other defendants.

Kobre & Kim’s founding partner Michael Kim, alongside partners Stephen Hayes, Andrew Stafford QC and Simon Cullingworth are bringing the claim for Maud. The firm has instructed 4 Stone Buildings’ Richard Hill QC and Alastair Tomson as counsel.

Simmons was recently picked by Barclays to advise on its recent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) inquiry into deals for wealthy clients, which resulted in a £72m fine for the bank in November.