The unravelling of the Enron debacle has stepped up a gear, with Herbert Smith scoring a major court victory over White & Case.
The latest Enron court action concerns a $523m (£284.9m) claim by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), represented in London by White & Case partner Margaret Cole, against Rabobank, represented by Herbert Smith partner Damien Byrne Hill.
One of the largest cases of 2004, RBC alleges that Rabobank is liable for the payment because of its involvement in a swaps transaction involving Enron.
The Court of Appeal has thrown out RBC’s attempt to restrain Rabobank from pursuing its claim in the New York courts. Ali Malek QC of 3 Verulam Buildings is acting for Rabobank, against Guy Phillips QC of Fountain Court.
Meanwhile, Cayman Islands firm Hunter & Hunter, just days after it announced its April 2004 merger with Bermuda outfit Appleby Spurling & Kempe, told The Lawyer it is setting up a new offshore vehicle to handle the sale of the bulk of Enron’s remaining assets. Hunters, a long-term adviser to Enron and currently acting for many of its Cayman entities, is seeking to enforce a Chapter 11 ruling in the US, calling for the establishment of a new, single Caymans vehicle to handle the bulk of Enron’s remaining assets. Hunters corporate partner Peter Stafford is making the representations.
Hunters set up most of Enron’s offshore companies in the Caymans, along with Maples and Calder, which was a long-term client of Parmalat until it was replaced in recent weeks by two-partner firm Turner & Roulstone.