MoFo faces negligence claim from energy client

Morrison & Foerster is in the High Court this week defending a professional negligence claim brought by energy investment company Petrocapital Resources over a share transaction.

The case centres on the alleged failure by Morrison & Foerster partner Edward Lukins to properly advise Petrocapital on matters concerning the acquisition of 95.7 per cent of its shares.

Petrocapital is claiming that it paid £1.45m for loan notes after originally failing to meet an agreement to redeem the notes for £40,000 within a 12-month deadline. It alleges that advice given by Lukins was “wholly incorrect” and that the correct remedy would have been for the shareholders to sue Petrocapital for the £40,000 and compensation.

The claimant also argues that Lukins was negligent in advising the shareholders, who were also directors of the company at the time that the loan notes were due to be redeemed, when he had been appointed to act for the claimant on its acquisition.

Both sides have turned to 4 New Square for advice. Petrocapital is represented by Memery Crystal partner Harvey Rands, who has instructed 4 New Square’s Justin Fenwick QC and Michael Ryan. Clyde & Co partner Fergal Cathie has instructed Patrick Lawrence QC and Annaliese Day QC for Morrison & Foerster.

Morrison & Foerster said it would not comment on the case as the hearing was underway.

The case is being heard by Exchange Chambers’ Mark Cawson QC, sitting as a deputy judge of the Chancery Division. The hearing ends tomorrow (27 June).

For the claimant Petrocapital Resources

4 New Square’s Justin Fenwick QC and Michael Ryan instructed by Memery Crystal partner Harvey Rands

For the defendant Morrison & Foerster (UK)

4 New Square’s Patrick Lawrence QC and Annaliese Day QC instructed by Clyde & Co partner Fergal Cathie