Freshfields and Herbert Smith Freehills avoid £140m court clash

It was due to be one of those High Court showdowns that caught the attention of the entire profession – a £140m professional negligence claim from London Underground against two City heavyweights, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and legacy Herbert Smith.

The case was expected to last for four weeks showcasing a clash of the bar titans – One Essex Court’s Tony Grabiner QC for Freshfields, Fountain Court’s Tim Dutton QC for Herbert Smith and Justin Fenwick QC of 4 New Square for London Underground.

Just weeks before the case was due to kick off, however, and the parties have set aside their differences and agreed a confidential settlement.

Those in the know might suggest that it would be rare for such a dispute to be played out in public. Perhaps a settlement was as inevitable as delays on the northern line.

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