Linklaters sues Gianni after being hit with Credit Suisse-Parmalat writ

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  • Lawyers suing lawyers...this is a Kodak moment, a MasterCard 'Priceless' commercial and a Hallmark occasion...It doesn't get any better.
    Good luck to Links for trying to sue an Italian firm on their home soil...now that's strategy folks!!! All you aspiring lawyers take note!
    Talk about a litigation food chain...Credit Suisse sues Links then Links sues Gianni...

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  • If the advice was given here then Links will have a good argument to have the hearing here. Thats if it gets to court. Does anyone know when a firm of this standing last sued another? Did it settle? That has to be preferable to a lengthy and frankly embarrassing court battle

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  • It's ungentelmanly - not the fact that they are suing another major law firm, but the fact that they are suing other lawyers personally.

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  • Presumably Gianni, being a very proud Italian firm, will fight this to the end - if it's in the Italian courts this could take about five years to even get a first judgment. Even if there is some ruling in Links' favour, will the Italian firm's PI insurer cough up the £100m+ in dough? Presumably too, they will want to fight this every step of the way too. This will run and run.

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  • So Gianni will want to fight and Links will want to settle. It will costs them £100m in PI cover and then all partners will end up paying for it.
    It is a radical step to take, one which could end up costing both firms dear

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  • I agree, suing the other lawyers personally (including a former associate, who is hardly going to be a fount of recovery even were negligence ultimately proven) is not appropriate or warranted. Previous coverage did not indicate that CS was suing Simon Firth personally, only that it was suing Linklaters, so I don't see why Links could not extend the same courtesy to its own advisers. I hope other foreign law advisers to Links watch this action very closely and, at the very least, amend their engagement letters appropriately going forward to exclude the imposition of liability on individuals.

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  • A few points to note. The article refers to named legal "representativs" and not parties to the claim. Links are not suing Gianni on their home soil - it's a claim issued in the High Court. In any event, this looks like a protective claim in the event that the Italian advice was wrong. Not a question of being ungentlemanly; just a sensible approach to protect its position.

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  • If there is smoke there is fire. CS didn't make its decision lightly. Lawyers being sued personally, who cares - law is a brutal game, and the lawyers themselves have created the milieau. So lets not shed tears for those that have created the brutal environment.

    CS, when they hire a 'brand name' are hiring such a firm as part of a CYA exercise. If firm XYZ screws up, then whoever hired them is blamed for not hiring the 'brand name'. If the 'brand name screws up nobody at CS gets fired because the observation is 'Well we did hire a magic circle firm'. This might mean two things: (i) CS might not have hired the best firm for the job and (ii) 'brand name ' is offering itself as comfort to the client, in effect saying 'no one will blame you' if you hire us'.

    That was the bargain that was struck. Did anyone here read Freakonomics? Sorry, the reference to Freakonmics was a bit glib (but still fun to write).

    As to the associate, the reason he is sued is for the purpose of turning him in exchange for a settlement.

    This could be fun to watch.

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  • "Good luck to Links for trying to sue an Italian firm on their home soil...now that's strategy folks!!! "

    Article says "High Court". So it will be up to the English court to decline jurisdiction, if challenged. Given the intellectual poverty of the Italian legal system I doubt it will.

    "It's ungentelmanly - not the fact that they are suing another major law firm, but the fact that they are suing other lawyers personally."

    So, how else do you propose to sue a partnership?

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  • "Given the intellectual poverty of the Italian legal system" erm... seriously?
    What else? Impossible to do business in the country because of the mafia? Shall we get a slice of pizza? Have you ever worked in Italy?
    Thank you Euroscep Tick for elevating the discussion to new heights...not.

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  • As far as I am aware this is the first time a law firm has sued a former employee and its overseas counsel. Tut, tut, tut.
    Foreign counsel from all over the world will be watching this one very closely.

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  • I have had dealings with the Italian legal system, yes. And I can back up the recent Oxford University survey which showed it's usually quicker to get to a Supreme Court judgment here than it is to get to a first instance Italian decision.
    As the Williams Grand Prix team, for example; 13 years of continual investigation before a final verdict.

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  • Spaghetti with swiss cheese served in London

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  • Does Andrea Platania still work as a Director (Legal) for Barclays? I hope Barclays pulls its finger out and supports one of its own.

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  • To Euroscep Tick:
    One thing is to say that the Italian judicial system is slow (and that may be true for the civil court system, not the criminal one mentioned in your wrong example), another is qualifiying the Italian legal system as "intellectually poor".
    My personal "on the ground" experience is that it is so sophisticated and articulated - its roots (codes, laws and tehoretical background) date back to a time where the word "legal" did not even exist in English - that "poor minds" fail to understand it.
    Your comment is so inappropriate that borders racism and prejudices.
    This could be a brutal response but that it is what your comment called for.

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  • To Roman fan:
    Given that the roots go back to Rome - where the used to stab (litereally) each other in the back every chance they got - does that mean that we should congratulate the Italian system for having taken the legal system as far as they have.
    I am confused.

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  • @Roman Fan
    The Oxford study I mentioned was into the civil system, not the criminal one. And as for racism and prejudice, my - and several colleagues' - experience of the Italian system has been that, where you have an Italian party against a non-Italian party, the Italian party always wins.

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  • To Euroscep Tick or to the Anonymous which referred to me:
    Clearly your are confused. What is the relevance of back-stabbing anyway? A Freudian slip of tongue of a backstabber?
    In any event, in ancient Rome cases of back-stabbing were dealt with by proper Tribunals, with great lawyers (Cicerone, rings a bell?) already 2,500 years ago, something that was not seen elsewhere until at least the middle-age.
    The Italian legal system could be better (no doubt about this) but to say that is affected by "intellectal poverty" could be explained only by the fact, as you admit, that you are confused.

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  • To Euroscep Tick:
    Your wrong example was not the Oxford Study but the Williams investigation (which was criminal).
    There are two explanations to your experience:
    - the Italian system is biased in favour of Italians; or
    - the Italian-party lawyers performed better or simply had a better case.
    In either case, "intellecutual poverty" would not seem to reflect that.

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  • I would take bias as being a sign of intellectual poverty, but if it's different I'll happily stand corrected.
    I know the Williams case was criminal, I was throwing it in as a concrete example of delay. Which again I would consider a sign of intellectual poverty, the constant appealing and re-opening suggestive of a system that failed to get to grips with the facts. And then returned evidence to be destroyed whilst an appeal was still pending...

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