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Linklaters has avoided being sued by technology and pharmaceuticals giant 3M because the company filed its negligence claim four years too late.
3M was trying to sue Linklaters for work the firm undertook on a 1989 corporate restructuring, during which break options on a number of leases were lost.
Last year Mr Justice Moses in the High Court found that 3M had known about the damage caused prior to the end of its limitation period in August 1995, but that the claim was not filed until August 1999.
Last Wednesday (3 May) the Court of Appeal dismissed 3M's appeal. But the court agreed that damage had been caused by Linklaters' actions.
Lord Justice Moore-Bick said: "This is not a case… in which it was uncertain whether significant damage had occurred; the only uncertainty, if indeed there was any, was whether that damage would be made good."
Linklaters was represented by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Wilberforce Chambers' Christopher Nugee QC. 3M instructed Simmons & Simmons and Hailsham Chambers' Michael Pooles QC.
A spokesman for Linklaters said: "The point in court was a technical one. 3M is a valued client of Linklaters, so it would be inappropriate to comment further."