Clifford Chance set to fight £130m negligence claim

Clifford Chance is facing a £130m negligence claim after being joined to a suit brought by JP Morgan against German transport provider BVG.

The magic circle firm has turned to Clyde & Co partner Richard Harrison and Essex Court’s David Foxton QC to defend the claim in the High Court. The case will be heard later this month before Mr Justice Eder.

Transport provider BVG is accused by JP Morgan of having spread risk by insuring a deal through a collateralised debt obligation (CDO) in 2007. BVG has joined Clifford Chance to the$210m (£130m) claim as a third-party defendant, alleging that the firm’s German operations gave negligent advice in relation to the transaction.  

Clifford Chance is one of three firms to be fighting significant negligence claims this year. Nabarro is being called into question over its handling of a litigation for a former client (11 December 2013 ), while Weil Gotshal & Manges faces claims relating to the takeover of an ice cream company that went sour (4 December 2013 ).

A Clifford Chance spokesperson told The Lawyer: “We do not consider that BVG should have joined us to this action. We believe the claims against us are misconceived and entirely without merit and we will continue to defend our position robustly.”   

The legal line-up:

For the claimant JP Morgan
One Essex Court’s Laurence Rabinowitz QC and Fountain Court ’s Richard Handyside QC instructed by Linklaters partner Kathryn Ludlow.

For the defendant BVG
Brick Court Chambers’ Tim Lord QC, Simon Salzedo QC and Simon Birt instructed by Addleshaw Goddard partner Michael Barnett. German lawyer for BVG is Noerr partner Christine Volohonsky.

For the third-party defendants Clifford Chance
Essex Court Chambers’ David Foxton QC, Stephen Houseman QC and Tom Ford instructed by Clyde & Co partner Richard Harrison.

For more on the top cases of 2014, see the full list of cases and analysis