Peter Horrocks, Lovells
Horrocks was the lead partner for Lovells acting for the liquidators from the moment the bank went down until his retirement in 1998. He was largely responsible for scooping the work for Lovells as he had worked closely with Deloitte & Touche previously, and he was the firm's man in Abu Dhabi for the first crucial months after the collapse. He was instrumental in finalising the plea agreement reached between the liquidators and the US authorities, which led to more than $1bn (£695.6m) being recovered. He is now working part time as a consultant for the liquidator.
Lord Neill of Bladen QC, Serle Court Chambers
Lord Neill was the man behind the Bank of England litigation. Lovells lead partner on the case Chris Grierson says the whole case is pretty much “the brainchild” of Neill. He has been the lead advocate for the liquidators throughout the eight-year battle to get the case to court, finally victorious in March this year when he won the right for Deloittes to sue the bank in a case that should come to court next year.
Michael Crystal QC, 3-4 South Square
Though currently in the spotlight for his role in the notorious Thyssen litigation in Bermuda, Crystal played a massive role in the BCCI case in the early days. He was the chief negotiator in Abu Dhabi and finalised the agreements which shaped the litigation – namely the agreement with the majority shareholders, the Abu Dhabi rulers. He retired from the case in the mid-1990s, to be replaced by Richard Sheldon QC.
Jeremy Cole, Lovells
Cole was the partner at Lovells who was the first on the ground in Abu Dhabi, alongside Horrocks, immediately after the collapse. He spearheaded the groundbreaking pooling agreement that made the liquidation possible. The intermingling of the various BCCI companies was so complex that Cole engineered a plan whereby all the companies pooled their assets, and creditors to each liquidation all received the same rates of dividend out of the pool.
Cherie Booth QC, 4-5 Gray's Inn Square (now at Matrix Chambers)
Booth represented the former employees of BCCI in a high-profile case against the liquidators, claiming damages for the stigma associated with their former employment. In 1997, the House of Lords ruled that ex-employees did have the right to sue the bank for stigma, creating a new claim in employment law, but as yet test cases have failed to produce any damages for the employees.
Laurence Crowley, Lovells
Now the lead partner for the firm on BCCI following the retirement of Peter Horrocks in 1998, and the man from Lovells leading the defence against the employees' claims, Crowley has been instrumental in dealing with all the creditor issues and the bulk of the UK insolvency aspects throughout the 10 years of liquidation.
David Sandy, former Simmons & Simmons
Sandy was indicted by US prosecutors in 1995 and charged with hiding the computer business diary of BCCI chief executive Zafar Iqbal, and then ordering that the diary be copied and destroyed when the bank shut down in 1995. After two successive mistrials, Sandy agreed last year not to practise law for 18 months. He did not to receive any income from a law firm until September this year. In return, the indictment against him will be dropped.
Jerry Walter, Simmons & Simmons
Now head of corporate at Simmons, Walter originally led the team from the firm advising the majority shareholders, the rulers of Abu Dhabi. Walter racked up more British Airways Air Miles than had ever been done before when commuting between London and Abu Dhabi, and was instrumental in thrashing out agreements that provided for the majority shareholders to pay the liquidators a total of $1.8bn (£1.25bn).
Richard Sheldon QC, 3-4 South Square
If anyone has really made their name off the back of BCCI, it is Sheldon. He has been working on the BCCI litigation since the very beginning, and is now the member of the bar that is most involved for Lovells. He is the only member of the bar to have been involved throughout, having joined the case as Michael Crystal's right-hand man at the start; and then, having taken silk in 1996, he took the lead.
He takes an overview position, keeping up-to-date on the progress of all the cases, but has also been leading the case against the Bank of America and was a key member of the Bank of England team.
John Goddard, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Goddard is the dispute resolution partner at Freshfields who has been spearheading the Bank of England's defence against allegations of misfeasance in public office. Now lining up for a fight after the liquidators in March won leave to sue the bank, Goddard is working closely with partner Philip Croall on this case, and advised the bank in the BCCI enquiry soon after the collapse.