Edwin Coe forges ahead with Northern Rock claim

Edwin Coe forges ahead with Northern Rock claim” /> Edwin Coe has gathered 6,000 Northern Rock shareholders and is still considering legal action despite the Government’s bail out plan, which was announced last week.

Last Monday (21 January) Prime Minister Gordon Brown unveiled a plan to replace the Bank of England’s £28bn loan to Northern Rock with bonds guaranteed by the Government.

Edwin Coe head of litigation David Greene told The Lawyer the scheme had received a “mixed” response from shareholders.

“It averts the threat of nationalisation, which I thought was a pretty empty threat in any event. It’s probably going to lead to further private bids for the bank. Shareholders want to see the company succeed,” said Greene.

He did not rule out the possibility of group litigation over Northern Rock’s breakdown.

“I think it’s wait and see at the moment as to what the result will be,” he said. “The management and the Government were aware of inside information, which clearly had an effect on shares. That wasn’t announced to the market for a month. That’s the thing that’s primarily being looked at.”

Greene, who rose to prominence acting for Railtrack shareholders against the Government, said: “This was threatening to be a similar situation and for that reason people came to us.”

Greene said his clients favoured a private bid for the company, with Luqman Arnold’s Olivant the preferred bidder. Olivant is being represented by Sullivan & Cromwell.

The two biggest shareholders, hedge funds RAB Capital and SRM Global, are being advised by Nabarro and White & Case respectively.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising Northern Rock.