Eversheds faces Eurofi claims of negligence

Claim amounts to more than £125,000 after call centre litigation with Teletech

Eversheds is being sued for more than £125,000 by a company that specialises in finding government and EU grants.
The firm, which is defending the claim, is accused of acting without reasonable skill and care when handling a claim brought by consultants Eurofi against call centre provider Teletech UK.
During High Court proceedings in 1997, Eurofi claimed that Teletech had failed to pay it £165,087 after it found grants totalling £5.42m from Scottish company Locate for the establishment of a call centre at Hamilton International Technology Park.
Subsequently, Teletech decided to go ahead with another call centre at Cardonald Park in Glasgow, using Scottish office funds. Eversheds was asked to amend Eurofi's claim, stating that it was entitled for a payment for the financial advice it gave in relation to the Cardonald project.
Following negotiations between Herbert Smith, for Teletech, and Eversheds, Teletech paid £227,313 as part of a settlement.
Eurofi declined to accept this offer and a later judgment stated that Teletech should pay Eurofi the smaller sum of £199,162. This meant Eurofi was respons-ible for payment of Teletech's costs from June 13 1998. Eurofi appealed and the payment increased by £7,784.
It is claimed that Eversheds failed to inform Eurofi that Teletech's payment covered 99 per cent of the money claim pleaded. Newbury-based Eurofi alleges that if had been properly advised by Eversheds then it would have accepted either Teletech's payment or a higher payment, and thus the case would not have gone to trial.
The company also claims that Eversheds failed to warn that the only real point at issue was not raised on the pleadings, or that there were substantial risks about costs.
Also, Eversheds allegedly acted in breach of duty and in breach of its retainer by failing to properly instruct barrister Selwyn Bloch over the calculation point of Eurofi's fees, and acted without reasonable skill and care.
Eurofi is seeking an order forcing Eversheds to pay the costs it incurred during its claim against Teletech, plus interest. Eurofi's legal costs at Teletech amounted to £66,453 at the first hearing and then £58,010 for its appeal.
Eurofi is being represented by Alan Ashley & Co and Eversheds by Beachcroft Wansbroughs.
Eversheds declined to comment.