Manches faces SEB in Appeal Court row

Manches was in the Court of Appeal last week fighting a multimillion pound claim over its involvement in an ongoing arbitration.

The case, SEB Trygg Holding v Manches & ors, concerns arbitration commenced after the sale of insurance company Interlife to SEB Trygg.

Manches acted for the vendors of Interlife, commencing an arbitration claim in 1998 asking SEB for £2.8m. SEB counterclaimed.

Manches is involved in the case alongside smaller London firms Sprecher Grier Halberstam and Portner and Jaskel, which were instructed consecutively by the vendors.

SEB is seeking a declaration that AMB Generali Holding, one of the vendors, is party to the arbitration and to any award made by its counterclaim in that arbitration. It also seeks damages against the solicitors for breach of warranty because a company named by Manches as the fourth arbitration claimant no longer existed by the time the claim was launched.

In January, Mrs Justice Gloster found that AMB was bound by the arbitration, and also that the solicitors’ firms were instructed to act for AMB. The solicitors and AMB appealed separately.

Slaughter and May partner Nick Gray instructed One Essex Court’s Nicholas Strauss QC for SEB. Four New Square’s Nicholas Davidson QC was counsel for Sprecher and Portner, represented by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary respectively. Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Jonathan Nash of Four New Square are advising Manches. Herbert Smith instructed in-house advocate Ian Gatt QC for AMB.

Manches declined to comment.