Basma Al Sulaiman v Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) and Plurimi Capital
Addleshaw Goddard has successfully defended Plurimi Capital from a $30m (£20m) mis-selling claim. The claimant, an ultra-high-net-worth Saudi investor, brought a Commercial Court claim against both Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) and Plurimi Capital for losses sustained on her structured products portfolio following the market crisis of September 2008. During the period January 2005 to December 2007, the Claimant had an advisory relationship with Credit Suisse, which she transferred to Plurimi Capital in January 2008.
The Claimant sought damages for breach of statutory duty and negligence against the Defendants, arguing that the structured products sold to her were unsuitable for an investor with her characteristics. In the course of the litigation, the Claimant’s case narrowed significantly: through protracted disclosure, her wealth and level of investment sophistication were shown to be much higher than she had at first asserted. Moreover, the judge found that Plurimi’s advisory practices were sound as the risks of leveraged investments and structured products had been fully explained. He also found that the extreme market behaviour of September and October 2008 was unforeseeable until immediately before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, such that “no one would have foreseen the risk of a margin call as anything other than extremely remote”…
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The past five years have not been easy for Addleshaw Goddard. The firm’s revenue fell 7 per cent from £173.1m to £161.9m between 2008/09 and 2010/11 and despite finances looking up in 2011/12, when Addleshaws reported a 30 per cent increase in net profit, it has shown no notable compound growth in turnover since 2007/08.