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Media tycoon Richard Desmond has turned to 4 Stone Buildings’ George Bompas QC in a multi-million claim against banking giant Credit Suisse.
Bompass, who is instructed by Rosenblatts partner Anthony Field, is the barrister behind an explosive opinion flagging up flaws in global accounting standards. The silk recently provided a highly-charged opinion to a group of investors challenging the role of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) system. The opinion – which was submitted several weeks ago to the parliamentary commission on banking Standards – described the current system as having “substantial legal flaws”.
He will face 3 Verulam Buildings’ David Quest QC, who wass instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills partner Simon Clarke to defend the case. Most recently Quest, who took silk in March (27 March 2013), has acted as a junior to setmate Ewan McQuater QC in defence of a multi-million pound claim against Barclays Bank alleging misuse of private information (7 January 2013). Judgment in that case is not expected until later this year.
Desmond – whose Northern & Shell Group publishes Express Newspapers, OK! Magazine and owns television station Channel 5 – claims Zurich-based Credit Suisse mis-led him in a deal involving a GLG Partners hedge fund. He has applied to the Queen’s Bench Division to have the deal declared invalid. He is also making a £19m compensation bid for the alleged costs of unwinding the transaction.
In his claim Desmond argues that he had little understanding of the highly-complex product sold to him. He alleges that the bank made a series of misrepresentations as well as breaches of conduct of business rules and common law.
The trial is listed for eight days, beginning on 2 December.