RBS was owed some money by US hedge fund Highland Capital so it brought in the heavies (Herbert Smith) to “extract payment”.
But things have not gone exactly to plan for RBS and now the bank, in addition to suffering the ignominy of being accused of deception by a high court judge, is expected to have to shell out £4m in legal fees to sort the whole mess out (see story). Ouch.
Halfway through the case, RBS also apparently decided that its heavies weren’t heavy enough and dumped Herbies for Linklaters. Not that Herbies gets to just slink away from the debacle: at a pre-trial review in November, Burton J told the bank that it would have to disclose privileged communications between its in-house lawyers and the firm.
The £66m case boils down to a failed collateralised debt obligation (CDO), funded by RBS and issued by hedge fund Highland Capital in 2008. The CDO failed to close, RBS called in its loans and wanted Highland to cover the shortfall between their value and RBS’ financing.
It all gets more complicated from there, suffice to say - as one source close to the case did - that RBS has had a “nightmare”.