The stand out stories in the past two weeks have undoubtedly been that of Dubai World’s debt restructure and the Supreme Court ruling over the bank charges.
Dubai World, a government-owned investment company with total debts of £35bn, asked creditors if it can postpone its forthcoming repayments until May next year. The story, which broke last week, sent shock waves across the globe with many fearing that a sick Dubai economy could potentially derail the fragile economic recovery, resulting in a so-called “W” shaped recession.
Dubai World’s financial woes, however, have benefited magic circle firm’s Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, which have been called in to advise the lenders and Dubai World respectively (read article). Meanwhile, Ashurst has bagged a key role advising a group of bondholders in relation to the debt standstill (read article).
Meanwhile, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) suffered a major blow in the Supreme Court on 25 November when the country’s most senior judges ruled that the regulator could not investigate the fairness of overdraft charges for unauthorised bank charges.
The decision to overturn the Court of Appeal’s ruling came as a shock to the one million claimants who had sought compensation from the high street banks for being charged unfair overdraft fees. Those actions had been stayed until the 26 January 2010 pending the outcome of the two-year battle. It is believed they will now be struck out altogether (read article).
What’s more serious questions will be raised about whether the OFT should’ve brought the case in the first place (read article).