Seddons wins Barclays appeal

Barclays: £1.8m pay-out

Rolfe Roseman, a litigation partner with West End firm Seddons, has put his firm on the City map with what may become a landmark victory against a bank.

The Court of Appeal ordered Barclays Bank to make a u1.8 million interim payment and to pay substantial costs to Crimpfil, a company that went into administration after the bank summarily withdrew a fixed term overdraft facility.

The full trial for damages starts in June, when Crimpfil's total claim could be in excess of u10 million.

The Appeal Court supported an earlier decision that the bank had no right to withdraw the facility and was in breach of contract.

Roseman says: “Clients of banks ought to scrutinise their facilities letters very carefully and consider whether a bank is actually right to do what it does.”

The success of the Crimpfil claim could trigger off copy-cat actions from companies in similar circumstances.

South East firm Cripps Harries Hall has won the tender to act for the HM Customs and Excise (C&E) property portfolio in England and Wales.

The firm will undertake mainly commercial property and related litigation work. The contract lasts until March 1998.

The firm's volume of work will increase in April 1996 as the C&E takes on property currently administered by the Department of Environment Property Holdings.