Richards Butler has picked up an instruction from Winterthur Group, the insurer claiming millions of pounds from law firms involved in collapsed claims management firm The Accident Group (TAG).
The formal instruction comes six weeks after Richards Butler hired Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) litigator Richard Spafford, who was running the TAG litigation for his former firm.
Winterthur is claiming £70m in damages for alleged negligence from 700 law firms which worked with TAG. The firms are also facing litigation to recover referral fees allegedly paid to TAG in return for personal injury work.
According to a number of sources, BLG’s decision to take the case on behalf of Winterthur could have posed conflict issues for the firm, as it traditionally handles defendant work for both insurers and professional firms accused of negligence. BLG is currently acting for Ernst & Young, the former auditor of Equitable Life, in its defence of a £2.6bn negligence claim.
BLG senior partner Richard Dedman confirmed that Spafford had taken the TAG case with him, but declined to comment further.