Linklaters 'delighted' by Simmons outcome

An “eleventh hour” out-of-court settlement has ended Banque Bruxelles Lambert's £50 million negligence claim against Simmons & Simmons.

The long-running case had been scheduled to go to trial at the beginning of last week, and although its terms are confidential, Linklaters & Paines, which acted for the bank, has expressed delight at the outcome.

“We are very pleased indeed,” said Linklaters partner Diana Good.

The bank had claimed the firm had been in breach of contract and/or breach of duty after alleging that Simmons failed to tell the bank that a property it was financing was not registered with the Land Registry in the borrower's name.

Simmons & Simmons declined to comment on the case.

In a statement, Linklaters said the settlement was achieved “at the eleventh hour after many weeks of negotiation”. It said: “Had the case gone to trial, it would have determined important issues, including questions of the scope of litigation privilege in consolidated actions, the admissibility of expert solicitor evidence in the context of a professional negligence claim against solicitors, and questions of quantum of recoveries by lenders from negligent professionals following the recent House of Lords decision in Saamco v York Montague.”

Elborne Mitchell acted for Simmons & Simmons.