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10.48 The lawyers at Fladgate Fielder will be nervously biting their fingernails this week. The firm is being sued by Land Securities.
Fladgates and fingernails" />4 February, 10.48
The lawyers at Fladgate Fielder will be nervously biting their fingernails this week.
The firm is being sued by Land Securities for allegedly abusing a civil process, after the firm allegedly tried to force the real estate company into helping it move offices by filing for a judicial review of planning permissions.
Or, in the words of Land Securities: "The applications for judicial review were issued for the predominate purpose of extracting from the claimants assistance through financial contributions or otherwise to enable or facilitate a relocation of the defendant's business."
The company seems to be claiming that Fladgate tried to threaten it with tonnes of paperwork.
Last week saw the firm go for a strike-out hearing, which, if successful, will mean Fladgates is off the hook.
But deputy High Court judge Bernard Livesey QC is still deliberating. And he will take up to the end of March to make up his mind. The partners at Fladgate might very well not have any fingernails left by then. The case could be worth up to £10m, which would be sorely missed in the current economic climate.
Litigation partner Neil Jamieson at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) is leading the fight for Fladgates alongside Alan Steinfeld QC at XXIV Old Buildings and Tom Leech at Maitland Chambers.
Steinfeld is a favourite pick for law firms in High Court disputes. He was the lead barrister for Hammonds in the firm's £3m profit dispute against a group of former partners at the end of last year.
BLG drafted him in during the second half of last year to take over from John McGhee QC at Maitland Chambers.
Opposite Steinfeld were Christopher Nugee QC and Jonathan Evans from Wilberforce Chambers, instructed by Linklaters litigation partner Katie Bradford.
Poor old Fladgate Fielder is no stranger to the wrong end of a claim form. In October last year Jones Day launched a £25m claim against the firm on behalf of collapsed dotcom company Izodia for allegedly breaching fiduciary duties. The Fladgate lawyers might have to start biting their toenails.