London firm Collyer-Bristow has become embroiled in a £50m legal battle brought by more than 500 investors in schemes drafted by the firm’s former company commercial chief John Bailey.
The firm and Bailey have both been named as defendants after the failure of 19 complex investment schemes, ;which ;were promoted by InnovatorOne between 2002 and 2005.
This is not the first time Collyer-Bristow and Bailey have been drawn into disputes as a result of InnovatorOne.
Both were named as defendants in a case centred around a film-financing scheme set up by InnovatorOne’s Bjorn Stiedl, in which more than £4m had allegedly been lost. The action headed to the High Court last year but was settled on 9 July 2007.
In addition to this, the firm and Bailey were both named in a £40m claim brought by Cable & Wireless and subsidiary Pender Insurance three years ago (The Lawyer, 10 October 2005).
Addleshaw Goddard brought the latest action on behalf of 555 investors after securing a finance package that combines a discounted conditional fee agreement, £5m worth of litigation funding from Allianz ProzessFinanz and after-the-event insurance covered by QBE and Brit Insurance. The brokers were Calunius Capital and The Judge.
Addleshaws partner Michael Green said: “This is access to justice translated from the political sound-bite to a practical and powerful reality.”
Collyer-Bristow, which is being represented by Beachcroft, declined to comment. Bailey, who has instructed Byrne & Partners, was unavailable for comment.