Rosenblatt Solicitors has landed a major instruction to defend Tlais Enterprises, the Cypriot incorporated company that is being sued by international cigarette manufacturer Gallaher Group.
The mandate is a coup for Rosenblatts because until the end of 2004, Tlais, which used to distribute cigarettes for Gallaher, was being advised by Herbert Smith’s litigation department.
It is understood that Herbert Smith was instructed by Tlais after it became involved in a dispute with Gallaher in late 2003 in relation to a clause in a distribution agreement. On that occasion, Herbert Smith advised Tlais that there was insufficient evidence to bring a successful claim against Gallaher.
It is understood that Tlais came back to Herbert Smith in the middle of last year with further evidence against Gallaher. Meanwhile, Gallaher, which is being advised by Slaughter and May, filed a claim against Tlais in the High Court for allegedly breaching the terms of the distribution agreement last month.
Rosenblatts has instructed Richard Hill of 4 Stone Buildings, while Slaughters is being assisted by Daniel Toledano at One Essex Court.
A Herbert Smith spokesperson said: “The assignment upon which we were engaged has reached a natural break. The client [Tlais] was entirely satisfied with our service.”
Slaughters confirmed that it is acting for Gallaher, but declined to comment further. Rosenblatts declined to comment.