Olswang refuses to be beaten as £19m action goes to High Court

Olswang is taking the £19m negligence claim brought against it last year all the way to the High Court.

It is common for law firms to settle negligence claims, but Olswang will fight the action. It was brought by 10 shareholders of software company Omnibus, who claim the firm failed to advise properly on a share sale agreement. The case will be heard in the Queen’s Bench Division in November.

According to the claim, Olswang’s breach of contract and/or negligence meant that the 10 shareholders recovered only £842,000 for the sale of their £24m company in 2000.

The claimants instructed Olswang on the sale of 100 per cent of Omnibus’s shares to German company MDAG in 2000, but according to the claim MDAG was unable to pay the claimants and Olswang’s advice meant they were not able to walk away from the deal.

When the claim was issued, Marcus Barclay, risk management partner at Olswang, told The Lawyer: “We regret the fact that the claim has been made. It will be rigorously defended.”

The shareholders have instructed Stevens & Bolton partner Andrew Quick and Charles Graham QC of One Essex Court.

Olswang is represented by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner Katherine Rees and Fountain Court‘s Derrick Dale.

Olswang declined to comment.