Wilde Sapte and Slaughters take on top roles in Lloyd's litigation

WILDE Sapte and Slaughter and May have been appointed to advise two separate groups in the Lloyd's of London market.

Both firms will help get the best deal for Lloyd's Names in the forthcoming settlement plan.

The current phase of talks is critical. Lloyd's Corporation, the market's secretariat, is finalising terms of the settlement while Names consider whether or not to back out and pursue any alternative, possibly more litigious, route.

Meanwhile, litigation continues in London, and is now threatened in the US.

The significant Lloyd's v Clementson High Court test case also starts this week.

Lloyd's Corporation has agreed to pay “reasonable” fees to Slaughters and Wilde Sapte to advise the groups, a Lloyd's spokesman said.

Wilde Sapte partners Philip Rocher and Mark Gill will advise the new Settlement Agreement Advisory Group, which will consult with Lloyd's and its advisers Freshfields in advance on the legal documentation relating to the proposed settlement.

It will consider arrangements for the new Lloyd's body Equitas, which will reinsure Names' old losses.Wilde Sapte is retained by Michael Deeny and Sir David Berriman, key members of the settlement group.

They are also chairs of two Names' groups, the Litigating Names Committee and the Association of Lloyd's Members, respectively.

Deeny is also chair of the Gooda Walker Names Action Group, for which Wilde Sapte scored the first major litigation victory against Lloyd's agents. Deeny is understood to have wanted Wilde Sapte as advisers for that reason.

Wilde Sapte's task will be to help negotiate details of the settlement with Lloyd's.

Meanwhile Slaughters head of litigation Francis Neate is advising the Validation Steering Group, which was set up late last year to report to Names by this summer on the benefits and drawbacks of settlement proposals and any alternatives.

Meanwhile, US firms Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen and Le Boeuf, Lamb, Greene & Macrae are acting for Lloyd's to defend it against potential legal actions arising from complaints filed by the states of Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Colorado.