First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution

First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution

Newly-installed Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director Lisa Osofsky has suffered her first major setback, as the agency’s prosecution of two former Tesco executives was quashed this morning.

At Southwark Crown Court, Judge Sir John Royce instructed the jury to acquit John Scouler, formerly Tesco’s UK food commercial director, and Chris Bush, previously Tesco’s UK managing director. Both men had been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud and false accounting charges over a £250m profit overstatement by Tesco in 2014. Continue reading “First big defeat for Osofsky as SFO fails in Tesco prosecution”

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Simmons & Simmons has landed a major Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation mandate at the expense of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Simmons’ crime, fraud and investigations head Stephen Gentle and partner Nick Benwell have been enlisted to defend oil and gas company Petrofac in the SFO probe, taking on the mandate from Freshfields. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire”

Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar

Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar

Allen & Overy (A&O) client Pfizer has lost a landmark Supreme Court battle against a host of manufacturers, leaving it vulnerable to substantial financial claims.

In a judgment handed down yesterday (14 November), the Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions that Pfizer’s patent for its pregabalin pain relief product was invalid. Branded as ‘Lyrica’, the pregabalin-based drug is used to treat neuropathic pain as well as generalised anxiety disorder and epilepsy. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar”

Sponsored briefing: An asymmetric approach to litigation PR

Sponsored briefing: An asymmetric approach to litigation PR

Tim Maltin of Maltin PR on the importance of getting the balance right between winning the court case and winning over the public

King Pyrrhus of Epirus famously said: ‘If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.’ He was talking in 279 BC about the large number of soldiers he had lost in the Battle of Asculum, but today he could just as easily have been referring to the high cost of litigation, or the pitfalls of winning the legal battle inside the courtroom at the expense of losing the communications war outside it. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: An asymmetric approach to litigation PR”

‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal

‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal

The High Court has dismissed an appeal by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which challenged the decision to exonerate Leigh Day of misconduct related to the Iraq War.

Last June, the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) cleared the firm and three of its lawyers accused of pursuing false damages claims of torture and murder made by Iraqi civilians against British troops in the region. The SRA appealed that decision. Continue reading “‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal”

A victory for legal privilege as ENRC triumphs in landmark SFO case

A victory for legal privilege as ENRC triumphs in landmark SFO case

City litigators uttered a collective sigh of relief as legal professional privilege (LPP) was upheld in the judgment of the highly-anticipated Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) case against the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The decision has wide-ranging implications for businesses and litigators alike as to what information from internal investigations is protected by privilege, after the Court of Appeal today (5 September) ruled the ENRC is not obliged to disclose a series of documents which had been requested by the SFO. Continue reading “A victory for legal privilege as ENRC triumphs in landmark SFO case”

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

White & Case is continuing its bid to add firepower to its London disputes bench with the hire of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)’s former head of litigation and investigations Laura Durrant as a partner.

Meanwhile, Swiss disputes firm LALIVE is opening an arbitration-focused office in London and Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) litigation partner Adam Johnson QC has been appointed a deputy High Court judge. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge”

Disputes round-up: Vannin Capital hires Fountain Court’s Martenstyn as managing director as Stewarts makes litigation tech play

Disputes round-up: Vannin Capital hires Fountain Court’s Martenstyn as managing director as Stewarts makes litigation tech play

In a further indication of the growing prominence of litigation funders, Vannin Capital has turned to Bar stalwart Paul Martenstyn for its new managing director as Burford Capital announces a robust 17% increase in income.

Elsewhere, Stewarts has struck a partnership with tech start-up Solomonic, while the Supreme Court has ‘with reluctance’ dismissed the appeal of a wife who wants to divorce her husband in the Owens v Owens case. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Vannin Capital hires Fountain Court’s Martenstyn as managing director as Stewarts makes litigation tech play”

End of Sir Cliff’s BBC privacy battle ushers in new rules on reporting investigations

End of Sir Cliff’s BBC privacy battle ushers in new rules on reporting investigations

Old-fashioned defamation disputes may rarely create significant precedent these days but the rapidly evolving area of privacy is a very different matter, a dynamic underlined this week in dramatic form in the conclusion of Sir Cliff Richard’s legal battle with the BBC.

The veteran celebrity’s victory in his long-running privacy case against the BBC has highlighted issues of potentially huge scope for the media and other publishers in reporting investigations against individuals. Continue reading “End of Sir Cliff’s BBC privacy battle ushers in new rules on reporting investigations”

Disputes round-up: Retailers beat Visa/Mastercard on fees as Stewarts launches financial crime unit

Disputes round-up: Retailers beat Visa/Mastercard on fees as Stewarts launches financial crime unit

The UK’s largest disputes specialist, Stewarts, has helped secure a win in the high-profile Visa/Mastercard interchange fees case less than a week after launching a financial crime department.

On Wednesday (4 July), a host of British retailers represented by Stewarts, Mishcon de Reya and Morgan Lewis & Bockius  won a Court of Appeal ruling against the financial services giants. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Retailers beat Visa/Mastercard on fees as Stewarts launches financial crime unit”