City partner in £1.2m action

A senior litigation partner at Shook Hardy & Bacon in London is being sued for a sum that could exceed £1.2m by an investor at his former law firm.
Clive Zietman is in a contractual dispute over money he allegedly owes businessman John Williamson, who invested £200,000 in Zietman’s now defunct firm, niche litigation outfit Llewellyn Zietman.
Zietman, along with partner Gordon Llewellyn, set up the firm in 1994 and borrowed £200,000 from Williamson, the claim form states.
In a highly complex claim, Williamson alleges that Zietman, who is deemed responsible for the money owed, is liable for one of two alternative amounts of money, depending on which of two agreements made by the two men is found to be strongest.
On the one hand, Williamson relies on an oral settlement he says he made with Zietman in 2000, which means Zietman owes him £1m (the original £200,000 and £16,000 interest).
But, in an alternative claim, Williamson relies on the original agreement he made with Zietman in 1994 for £315,000 plus additional unspecified damages.
Llewellyn Zietman was renamed Arnander Irvine & Zeitman following the departure of Llewellyn and five other lawyers to the London office of White & Case in 1999.
Arnander Irvine & Zietman merged with Shook Hardy in 2002, bringing the US firm another 10 partners as well as clients such as DaimlerChrysler.
Williamson could not be reached for comment and Zietman declined to comment, saying it was a “private matter”.