Fountain Court Chambers’ Nicholas Stadlen QC, appearing for the Bank of England, has slammed Lovells for failing to turn up for the BCCI costs hearing which began on Monday (30 January).
Stadlen yesterday derided the liquidator’s legal team and the collapsed bank’s liquidators, Deloittes, who also did not atttend the expected four-day hearing before Mr Justice Tomlinson at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Pouring scorn on Deloittes in particular, Stadlen highlighted the £325m that, according to its latest accounts, the liquidator has made from the BCCI collapse.
“It might have been thought that if they really could not get the sanction of the Creditors Committee or the court to attend, they would have considered it appropriate, not to say courteous, to attend in person or through lawyers paid out of their own ample funds,” he said.
Stadlen began his submission by saying the absence of the claimants and their legal representatives spoke “volumes” about their “disgraceful” approach to the litigation.
“[They] have wholly predictably had the nerve to question, albeit only at long distance and indirectly through their solicitors, a letter to Freshfields [the bank’s solicitors], whether your Lordship even retains jurisdiction to conduct this hearing, let alone to give a judgment on costs,” he said.
Stadlen added that the offer of £73m costs plus interest made by Deloitte, what he called “the largest costs bill in English legal history”, was a final “tactical ploy” by the liquidators.
In adddition to the costs the bank is seeking a written judgment from Mr Justice Tomlinson as to why the liquidator’s conduct of the case should result in indemnity costs being paid.