Corruption trial triggers Bird & Bird Hamburg negligence claim

Bird & Bird has been hit by a new professional negligence claimto the tune of €130m, in the latest development in a corruption trial against one of the firm’s former clients.

The claimants allege that Bird & Bird lawyers acted negligently and potentially criminally in enabling embezzlement by former client Heinrich Maria Schulte, the ex-chief of German real estate fund Wölbern Invest.

The German case follows a £2m professional negligence claim in the English High Court from British Virgin Islands company Orientfield Holdings over the aborted purchase of a £25m property in St Johns Wood.

But Bird & Bird isn’t the only UK firm going head-to-head against former clients. Mishcon de Reya’s dispute with Queens Park Rangers chairman Antonio Caliendo is heading to the High Court in November and Clifford Chance is facing a negligence claim brought by the funders who bankrolled the unsuccessful Excalibur Ventures case.

With time running out for clients to bring negligence claims relating to the financial crisis, expect more to be hitting the courts over the next few months.

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