Bevan Brittan helps councils chase Icelandic cash

Bevan Brittan has been drafted in to help local councils reclaim millions of pounds tied up in Iceland’s crippled banks.

The firm won the instruction because of its place on the Legal Government Association’s (LGA) panel and was present at a creditors meeting in Iceland at the beginning of November.

Senior commercial litigation associate Virginia Cooper is representing the LGA, assisted by partner Stuart Whitfield.

Kent County Council and the London Borough of Barnet sent finance chiefs to the creditors meeting, as the authorities with the most money deposited in Icelandic banks.

Bevan Brittan is being assisted by Icelandic firm Logos in the negotiations.

Kent had around £50m deposited in Landsbanki, its UK subsidiary Heritable and Glitnir Bank. Both Landsbanki and Glitnir have been nationalised to stave off financial collapse and regulators in the UK have put subsidiaries of both Kaupthing and Landsbanki into administration to protect savers.

The council, along with Barnet, is taking the lead in negotiations with the stricken banks as creditors line up to reclaim billions of pounds in lost assets.

KCC legal chief Geoff Wild said: “It’s still hoped that the LGA will step into the breach to act as a senior representative but until such time Kent and Barnet will represent local authorities with money at stake.”

Kent finance chiefs said the meeting had been “positive”.

Landsbanki has called on Squire Sanders & Dempsey and Nabarro to advise it on the sale of UK assets, while Kaupthing is being advised by Allen & Overy.