US firm Scott & Scott has been granted approval by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) to operate in London, almost six months after it hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigator Belinda Hollway to launch its City office.
Hollway has subsequently hired Freshfields competition litigation associate Patrick McGahan, a former colleague at the magic circle firm.
The London office marks Scott & Scott’s first entry into Europe off the back of a successful foreign exchange rate-rigging lawsuit in the US.
The firm is one of a handful preparing to file a claim for investors who lost money as a result of forex rigging in the UK, with Hollway instructing Brick Court Chambers’ Daniel Jowell QC.
Hollway said the firm was “not ready to go public” with its timeline for filing a forex claim against a group of banks at the London High Court, but added there is “now no regulatory barrier to us bringing claims and we will be continuing to work with our clients and size up the best moment to file a case”.
The firm is understood to have signed up investors across the UK, Europe and Asia, all of which suffered losses as a result of exchange rate manipulation by the banks.
To date a number of global banks have agreed to pay out around £2.6bn since US and UK regulators opened global investigations into forex rigging. The London offices of Hausfeld and Covington & Burling are understood to be making headway on related claims, while Barclays has turned to Baker & McKenzie to defend the upcoming forex disputes in the High Court.
Scott & Scott is also expected to file a group claim for investors of Tesco pending the result of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into the supermarket’s accounting ‘black hole’. The firm had previously partnered with McGuire Woods to launch a claim in the UK prior to opening its own London office.
The firm hired Hollway to launch its London office in July 2015 after nine years in Freshfields’ cartel defence and commercial disputes practice, most recently as a senior associate.