Linklaters faces £115m Credit Suisse claim over Parmalat advice

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  • Catastrophe is not too strong a word to describe this development.

    Linklaters could certainly afford the claim, but if it loses the damage to its reputation will be severe, long-lasting and potentially fatal.

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  • "severe, long-lasting and potentially fatal" - a severe case of schadenfreude, my friend!
    I'm no Links apologist, but one piece of bad advice on one deal is hardly going to ruin the whole firm's reputation.

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  • @Anonymous | 11-Feb-2011 2:12 pm - Clients go to Linklaters to ensure that issues such as this do not occur. Ever. If this case is lost it shows a shocking lack of internal controls.
    The sad thing is, this couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people. Money is the last thing that these people care about, their staff and the wider community ALWAYS come first for Linklaters partners.

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  • What happened to the Levicom professional negligence claim that Linklaters lost in the Court of Appeal last year? The last I heard was that Linklaters was seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. Anyone know the outcome?

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  • Such a pity that this should happen to Linklaters after the partners showed such loyalty to their staff during the recession.

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  • Interesting that most assume that Links are liable. Loss of an opportunity to negotiate better terms doesn't sounds like the greatest claim, backed up by Credit Suisse shopping for QC advice and leaking this to The Lawyer. Storm in a teacup?

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  • The Supreme Court refused permission to appeal in Levicom, so the case is due to go back to Andew Smith J for a quantum trial.
    As for shopping for QC advice, I infer from the article above that the letter of claim must have "name-dropped" the redoubtable trio of Sumption, Howard and Adam (why else would the article mention them?). Litigators tend not to name-drop the name(s) of counsel in correspondence unless the barristers concerned have advised favourably and (normally) have approved the final draft of the letter mentioning their names. I suspect all three of them have advised and have advised favourably, If they have, CS are clearly not sparing the horses in terms of costs!

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  • @Stephen Pipes - loyalty to their staff during the recession?? in 2009 they made 200 people redundant...

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  • @Anonymous 2:26 "The sad thing is, this couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people". I am sorry if I failed to pick up the sarcasm here: Links culled 18% of their Associate body, excluding those managed-out or terminated. A number of partners given their marching orders too. They care about nothing EXCEPT money.

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  • Agree with Anonymous | 11-Feb-2011 3:45 pm. Very quick to equate a claim with a verdict/outcome here. Pipe down

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  • This article hasnt got the facts quite straight.
    The advice in question was given by Links' ex-Italian allies Gianni Origoni.
    The advice was no given by Links.
    CS are trying to make Links vicariously liable for Gianni Origoni's advice.
    So it wasnt Links advice in the first place and even if they are vicariously liable for Gianni they will presumably be able to claim on Gianni's insurance.
    A catastrophe it is not.

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  • I wonder if A&O will be acting under a CFA - that would be some success fee!

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  • Pipes was being sarcastic

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  • Advice in 2001, claim in 2003? Hope a claim form's been issued, or else Dr Limitation will be knocking at a summary judgment door.

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  • What is the problem here? The advice was given by Italian law firm, not Linklaters. Does it mean that Links were supposed to check themselves what Italian bankruptcy law says and how it is interpreted by courts? What is the purpose of hiring a correspondent law then? Or, does it mean that whatever correspondent law firm says is automatically attributed to Linklaters? If Italians screwed up, they should be responsible for it. Or, am I missing something?

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  • I would be careful jumping to any conclusion. First, Simon Firth is an excellent solicitor. Second, his advice would be based on Itallian law advice. Third, remember the Lehman bankruptcy report which proved to be groundless in its criticism of Linklaters.

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  • The number is large but will be well within Links' E&O programme ~ but it might cost them on renewal. Face it, one ALLEGEDLY bad piece of advice does not mean that the fate of Andersens awaits Links. I suspect Links were not negligent and that the claim will fail; that would be my bet. And "NO" I do not work with Links!

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  • Reading all these posts makes me laugh. Almost invariably they have been written by disgruntled former employees who clearly did not cut the mustard. As a former Linklaters associate who was there for the best part of a decade and who is now a partner elsewhere, my view remains that it is a great firm. Linklaters paid their redundant staff huge sums of money in the recession, far in excess of their competition. As far as these claims are concerned, it goes with the job. Linklaters advise clients on major transactions and litigation (Parmalat and Levicom are no exceptions). It is inevitable that there will be clients who look at suing their lawyers. As for lasting damage, I am quite sure there wont be. This is merely a minor scratch on the surface of a well run, successful firm. The ludicrously overly-emotional comments show the anger of posters who are clearly jealous and still harbour resentment for being managed out.

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  • I believe that Linklaters appeal of the Leviton case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

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  • Anonymous | 15-Feb-2011 5:07 pm:
    I think you work in HR at Linklaters.

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  • Anonymous@15.02.11 7:49pm
    The Supreme Court refused permission to appeal as long ago as 19 October 2010 - have a look at the SC website.

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  • Back in those days Linklaters the work for Gianni would have appeared on a Linklaters bill, wouldn't it? Credit Suisse did not mandate Gianni, Linklaters did. Linklaters is liable. Maybe they'll want to go after Gianni. That would be fun.

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  • That’s bad news anyway.

    I hope that what we are seeing is not just the “starter” in respect of much bigger troubles waiting in the pipeline (namely for Linklaters):

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article7060424.ece

    It would be a nasty turn for the international legal market, not just for Linklaters.

    We already have to cope with the ongoing systemic financial crisis, and now this…

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  • My 2 cents...

    Are you writing from the past? From a year ago?

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  • What a shame. Simon Firth is such a nice guy too. Anyway, I cant spend all day chatting here, I'm off for afternoon tea with a Middle Eastern dictator.

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