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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  • To Euroscep Tick:
    Our criminal system works well, at least as well as the US or UK. Examples of bad cases can be found in any jurisdictions (OJ Simpson? Sign of "intellectual povert"?) and to use it as an example of "intellectual poverty" is an example of bad judgment or bad faith.
    Finally, I mentioned "bias" just to avoid to sound..biased, but frankly, as I assist non-Italian companies against Italian companies, my experience on the reasons why you have lost all the time you had to paly against Italians is probably because ...your counterparts had a better case.
    I frankly hope you can reconsider you initial statement.

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  • To Roman Fan:
    Didn't Cicero find himself on the proscription list? Is that the Roman law you wish to lecture about.
    "You have no right to kill me soldier, just do it properly" - rough paraphrase of Cicero's last words before he was murdered in accordance with Roman law.
    BTW, are you confused about me being clear, or are you clear about being confused.
    A second BTW: do you know what a proscription list was in those hale old Roman times?

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  • OJ Simpson? Intellectual poverty? Goes without saying, it was a jury decision.
    I can't reconsider my initial statement as it's what I experienced. Another good one is the Molins case, where an Italian judge granted permission to serve proceedings urgently in England because, and this is serious, it would be difficult to serve during the holidays.
    Although, @Anonymous, I don't really find Cicero that relevant. Especially when you consider his speech in defence of Sextus Roscius of Ameria against accusations of parricide; given Roscius Sr's name was on a proscription list, you'd've thought that that was a case for summary judgment (i.e. a duty to kill), rather than diverting into a side-issue of the Sullan revenge mission.

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  • To Anonymous:
    Do you really want to get into that? Do not know which country your are from, but I have no doubt that the situation in the history of your place was not any better, and surely as far as a legal system is concerned, was much worse! Roman law is Roman law is Roman law.
    Cicerone (not Cicero, sorry) was a great lawyer and was not certainly "intellectually poor". Equally unbearable proscription lists have existed everywhere.
    You said you are confused and I was just ackowledging it.

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  • Marcus Tullius Cicero (not Cicerone - that's the ablative) was certainly not intellectually poor, but the legal system was somewhat different then...more about politics than evidence.

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  • To Roman Fan:
    Ahh, finally, the ad hominem attack - when all else fails, respond by name calling.
    So, if there were proscription lists that were unbearable elsewhere, then Rome was no better than the other places. Well done, you have shot yourself in the foot.
    So, to Euroscep,
    if it was more about politics than evidence, I agree - and so you have scored the point against Roman Fan.
    Anyway I am going with Mithradates to a party at Silvio's.
    Lotsa' love

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  • To anonymous:

    Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?

    That is curious...a direct offensive attack to the "intellectually poor" Italian legal system ...and that it would be mine the first direct attack?

    You must be indeed be a fan of the Italian PM, in any sense. Reversing roles...

    Marco Tullio Cicerone would have said at this point:

    An, si homines ipsos spectare convenit, non modo cum summis civitatis nostrae viris, sed cum infimo cive Romano quisquam amplissimus Galliae comparandus est?

    Enjoy.

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  • To Euroscep Tick:

    A jury decision? Well then you are saying that a jury decision could reach these lows? That - in the way in which you reason - should mean that a system which allow "common people" to reach such wrong decisions is an "intellecutually poor" legal system, should not it?

    As for the peculiar decisions, should we start counting the wrongful death penalties which have been issued with incredible faults and negligence in the investigations?

    Or should we concentrate on legal systems rewarding million of dollars to idiots spilling hot water or coffee on their legs while driving?

    Well, that would be the result using your logic.

    This whole exchange of comments was just due to your ingenerous comment about the Italian legal system being "intellectually poor". I should be would demonstrate intellectual honesty by withdrawing it.

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  • To Roman Fan
    Exactly what tense is "I should be would" ?

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  • You raise US jury decisions (and the coffee case is VERY different, incidentally) to defend the Italian system? Tu quoque is not a defence.
    Let's put it this way. English contract, English language, English law clause, exclusive English jurisdiction clause. Performance in England, contract signed by English and Italian parties. According to an Italian court, the natural forum for that case was Italy...

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  • To anonymous:
    Pathetic, no further comment.
    To Euoscep Tick:
    No I am not defending the Italian system as such, I am just contesting the "intellectual poverty" comment you made. If your criterium for intellectual poverty is a wrong or stupid decision, I am just saying that you should consider "intellectually poor" a number of other sophisticated places as this can occur in any legal system and I would never dare say the US legal system is "intellectually poor".
    As for your specific case, from the facts that you set out it does seem a strange decision, but possibly in appeal or in Cassazione it will be reversed. In any case, it seems a little bit too specific for a blog-interaction!
    All the best.

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  • To Roman Fan
    Take yourself less seriously. Bad writing is evidence of muddle headed thinking. You don't even know when you are being baited just for sport.
    lotsa love

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  • To anonymous:

    Your are really unpleasant and I suspect I am not the first one to note.

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