City firms square up for Chilean copper case

Herbert Smith is acting for the Chilean state copper company Codelco in its $170 million litigation against a London trading company alleging conspiracy to defraud.

The action by Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer, is against a London Metal Exchange trading company, Sogemin. Codelco is seeking damages relating to losses suffered in the copper futures market in 1993.

Herbert Smith partner Tim Parkes said Simmons & Simmons had filed acknowledgement of service and an intention to defend the action on behalf of Sogemin.

Parkes said Codelco considers Sogemin and its agents were party to a conspiracy involving alleged kickbacks to Codelco's former head of futures trading Juan Pablo Davila, who is under criminal investigation for alleged fraud in Chile.

Parkes added that Codelco will pursue actions against other brokers in London and New York.