Charles Russell picks BLG for negligence defence

Charles Russell has instructed Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) to defend a £4m claim brought against it by a former client.

The claim has been filed by Trethowans partner Richard Cook on behalf of former Charles Russell client Professor David ­Youlton, the former chairman of digital television company Snell & Wilcox.

Youlton initially launched a claim last May, alleging that Charles Russell had given him negligent advice when he was ousted from Snell & Wilcox’s board.

That action was stayed until this year because ­Youlton, in his role as a trustee of the company’s pension scheme, had another claim against the firm.

That claim centres on advice Charles Russell gave the trustees on a property-related dispute with Snell & Wilcox’s board. The ­property was owned by the pension scheme, but was leased to Snell & Wilcox’s board as the company’s headquarters. According to the claim, the television company refurbished the property at a cost of £2.9m, which it believed the trustees should pay.

The claim alleged that Charles Russell drafted an agreement between the trustees and the company to resolve the dispute, but that the two trustees who signed the document did not have authority to enter into the agreement.

In addition, Youlton argues that Charles Russell was negligent because it allegedly failed to recognise a conflict of interest between the trustees and the ­company directors.

Trethowans’ Cook has instructed 4 New Square’s Hugh Evans QC for Youlton. BLG partner Joseph Arazi has instructed Ben Hubble QC, also of 4 New Square, for Charles Russell.