Barclays drafts in Dentons on Libor claim after MAB takeover

Dentons has won a major instruction from Barclays thanks to its takeover of Matthew Arnold & Baldwin’s (MAB) banking and finance litigation team last month.

Barclays has instructed Dentons to run its defence on a major Libor and swaps mis-selling claim brought by the liquidators of now defunct caravan company Arthur Holgate & Sons. MAB partner Clare Stothard was originally instructed on the headline case and will continue to lead on it for Dentons.

The claimant, represented by Hausfeld, alleges Barclays negligently mis-sold it interest rate hedging products that led to Holgate’s collapse.

The business is understood to be suing Barclays for damages in excess of £20m.

Holgate also claims Barclays profited from manipulating Libor after buying around £5bn of bank debt it knew would rise in value after a fall in sterling rates. It is alleged the bank made false representations to the company about Libor that left it owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the bank before it was put into administration.

Barclays admitted attempting to manipulate Libor in 2012, paying out more than £500m to settle US and UK regulatory probes. The Holgate claim alleges details of the sterling Libor trades were never revealed to regulators.

Hausfeld London boss Anthony Maton has instructed Guildhall Chambers’ Stephen Davies QC and Neil Levy for the claimant.

It is not yet known who Stothard has instructed for Barclays.

Guildhall silk Davies is fast becoming the scourge of the banks on Libor and swaps mis-selling cases. He was recently brought onboard by Guardian Care Homes subsidiary Wingate in proceedings against Lloyds following his success in Graiseley Properties and ors v Barclays Bank in 2014, which resulted in the first out of court settlement in a major Libor claim.

Davies is also instructed by Mishcon de Reya in a High Court action brought against Zurich specialist property lender Dunbar Bank.

Dentons confirmed the hire of MAB’s 11-partner and 64-lawyer banking and finance litigation team in January. The mass hire was first flagged by The Lawyer last summer when it emerged the group could take its longstanding relationship with Barclays to the new firm. Stothard led MAB’s banking disputes team alongside Steven Mills.

Dentons is also instructed to defend a number of other major UK banks in Libor and mis-selling cases before the High Court, including defending the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) against a £30m claim by Property Alliance Group (PAG).

The Lawyer revealed on Thursday (11 February) PAG had swapped counsel from Cooke Young & Keidan to Bird & Bird following pressure by RBS that claimed the firm was conflicted.

The legal line-up

For the claimant, Arthur Holgate & Sons (in liquidation)

Guildhall Chambers’ Stephen Davies QC and Neil Levy, instructed by Hausfeld partner Anthony Maton

For the defendant, Barclays Bank

Dentons partner Clare Stothard