Legal Business Blogs

Victory for Dentons as judge throws out £30m PAG claim against RBS

Dentons client The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has won a battle over interest rate swaps mis-selling against Bird & Bird client Property Alliance Group.

According to a High Court judgment released today (21 December), the Manchester investment company lost the $30m claim against RBS, which was advised by Dentons litigation partner Richard Caird instructing Fountain Court Chambers’ Richard Handyside QC.

Justice Asplin dismissed the claims that the bank had mis-sold four interest rate swaps, that the firm’s global restructuring group had acted in bad faith, and that it had breached terms in the setting of Libor. The trial lasted 10 weeks over the summer.

Bird & Bird represented Property Alliance Group, having replaced the group’s former lawyers, Cooke, Young & Keidan earlier this year. The group was represented by disputes head Steven Baker, who has since left the firm for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, instructing Tim Lord QC of Brick Court Chambers.

In March, Dentons managed to move the Property Alliance Group claim to London’s newly created financial court, hearing the case as a financial list claim.

RBS remains subject to several other high-profile court cases, including a shareholder action stemming from the banks’ share rights issue, which led to thousands losing money after RBS sold its shares at £2 per share. The claimants allege that the prospectus on which the rights issue was based was ‘defective’ and contained material misstatements and omissions.

Herbert Smith Freehills partners continue to defend RBS in the action with a team lead by partners Adam Johnson, Simon Clarke, Kirsten Massey and James Norris-Jones. While claimants represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Stewarts Law have settled their claims, Signature Litigation’s clients are pressing for a trial next spring.