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Mayfair firm Gordon Dadds has become the third firm to be appointed by claimants in an action against Customs & Excise
The claimants, the owners of jewellry shop Matchpoint Pen Co, whose client list included the Sultan of Brunei, were acting in person until they handed their case to Gordon Dadds partner Patrick Gieron. It is said to be one of the largest claims against Customs. Gieron has brought in silk Romie Tager QC, head of Selborne Chambers, because of complex questions over quantum and large disputed forensic accountant reports. A firm of solicitors was first instructed in 1996 soon after the claimants' premises were raided and their stock, documents and business records confiscated. It conducted the early stages until being replaced by Devonshires, which came off record in October 2001. The claimants were arrested but never charged, and were subject to an 18-month investigation. Civil actions against Customs, which in this case is being sued for up to £2m, are rare, although this case coincides with the test claim against Customs over its powers to impound cars and seize the goods of suspected tobacco and alcohol smugglers .Matchpoint's claims include trespassing, false imprisonment, willful interference with goods, and malicious procurement and execution of a search warrant. Hodge Malek QC of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square is representing Customs.