A frosty reception

You spend months drafting documents and giving advice only for the client to take matters into their own hands. At least that is what appears to have happened to Ashurst and Mishcon de Reya after giving advice to the Icelandic government (see story).

Both firms told the Icelandic government that it should definitely go ahead with plans to reimburse governments in the UK and Netherlands for money paid to savers in collapsed bank Icesave. Ashurst in particular spent the last six months of 2009 working on the matter.

But now Iceland’s president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has decided not to go ahead with the plan for now, choosing instead to put it to a referendum.

That’ll teach the UK to tar Iceland with the terrorist brush. Remember how chancellor Alistair Darling used anti-terrorism laws to freeze all Icelandic assets in the UK?

Iceland called on Lovells at that point as it mulled legal action against the Treasury (see story).

That advice could make the firm a shoo-in to advise if any litigation comes from the opposite direction.


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