FFW hit by negligence claim from clients L&G, Shell and Lloyds TSB

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) is being sued for breach of contract and negligence by Legal & General (L&G), Shell and Lloyds TSB over its advice on a £90m property investment fund.

FFW partners Jasper Hunt and Jayne Elkins advised L&G Assurance Society, Shell Pensions Trust, Lloyds Bank SF Nominees and Lloyds TSB Group Pension Trust on a 1998 specialist leisure fund.

The four companies invested in the THI Leisure Partnership, the leisure fund launched by private developer THI, which went bust in 2001 citing oversaturation of the commercial leisure market.

The partnership invested in leisure centres and parks in Sheffield, Ellesmere Port and Bolton. When THI went out of business, L&G became the operator of the limited partnership.

FFW partner Stephen Gibbs is defending the claim and has instructed specialist professional negligence barrister Ben Patten of Four New Square.

“We’ve been served with a claim form and some very brief particulars of claim. We can discern no reason for this claim against us. We’ll defend the claim,” Gibbs told The Lawyer.

The claimants have instructed Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) partner Roger Cohen to act on their behalf.

BLP, L&G, Lloyds TSB and Shell all declined to comment.