Sumitomo trial settles

The Sumitomo fraud trial – one of the country’s longest-running civil cases – settled yesterday after just two weeks in court.

Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation had been claiming that Crédit Lyonnais Rouse (CLR), a subsidiary of French bank Crédit Lyonnais, had dishonestly assisted convicted fraudster Yasuo Hamanaka, in the last part of a saga stretching back more than a decade.

Sumitomo had sought $1.1bn (£614.9m) from CLR in a trial set down in the commercial court for 30 weeks. Under the terms of the settlement CLR, without any admission of wrongdoing, will pay a contribution to Sumitomo’s costs, which in turn has expressly and unreservedly withdrawn all allegations of dishonesty against CLR and its employees.

Ashurst head of construction and general commercial fraud partner Chris Vigrass was instructing Christopher Carr QC of One Essex Court for Sumitomo. Serle Court’s Michael Briggs QC was instructed by Matthew Newick, a Clifford Chance commercial litigation partner, for Crédit Lyonnais Rouse.