Addleshaw Goddard loses in mammoth CFA case Berezovsky v Abramovich

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  • I assume AG did it on a CFA becuase it is the only way a low tier litigation firm like them would get the instruction

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  • It is a short sighted and commercially suicidal view to think that CFA always equals no win, no fee. It has to be a value proposition for both the law firm and the client.
    Any significantly reduced fee (perhaps that just covers the standard cost of the legal team doing the work) that then has an additional (and conditional) fee on success, would be a CFA and sounds a more likely route that a commercially astute law firm would take, don't you think?
    And as to anons comment at 12:09, surely the reduction in fee income would already for the most part have have been factored in to last years accounts?

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  • Wasn't the background to the CFA something like: Berez ditches Stephenson Harwood and turns to star AG litigation partner. Star litigation partner miffed at not making Senior Partner leaves to set up boutique firm with a view to taking Berez case. AG management panics and offers Berez CFA deal to keep the work.

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  • Anonymous | 31-Aug-2012 12:52 pm: that's exactly the background apart from the bit where AG offer up-and-coming partner who has the real relationship with BB an equity partnership so he doesn't jump ship with star partner. Also the bit where BB has no liquidity despite being filthy rich, owes squillions to AG and everything gets renegotiated so AG has a pop at a fee uplift to offset the inevitable write-off if BB loses. Hasn't paid off and this is one non-appealable judgment.

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  • So you're saying this was not a partial CFA (where AG still get paid a discounted base rate even in the event of a loss) but a full CFA (i.e. AG don't get paid any base costs at all if they lose)? Jesus......

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  • Many commercial clients insist on CFA's for such cases - I know of one large City firm in particular who undertake CFA work (but plainly do not promote the fact).

    Let's hope that the ATE insurer has the capital adequacy to sustain such a heavy loss.

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  • 1. Is Anonymous | 31-Aug-2012 2:01 pm absolutely sure that AG are not on a discounted fee arrangement? 2. Does anyone know who the ATE insurer was?

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  • The BBC is quoting a costs lawyer saying that the combined costs could be £150 million. I wouldn't want to be on the losing end of a CFA of any kind at that sort of level

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  • I see that in the Gazette Addleshaws are hurriedly peddling the line that this was no win, smaller fee. Ahem, much smaller fee? And is it ever recoverable from their client? Their PR advisers seem to have been onto the Lawyer too, as this has now been added in to the story above. Great firm, but no need to protest too much surely?... Better to take it on the chin and just accept you lost?! Will the other cases be ditched now though?

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  • My understanding is that AG are on a discounted fee arrangement of some sort. They had no choice but to agree to this once it became clear that BB couldn't pay the bills but tried to spin it as being "creative" with funding solutions to their clients. Very substantial (but not total) write-off now in prospect because BB's liquidity position has not improved. These are the rumours - who knows whether they are true.

    "Anonymous | 31-Aug-2012 2:01 pm"

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