Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham was jubilant last week despite a judge’s ruling that the firm messed up when it advised Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed over the acquisition of Fulham Football Club.
The firm avoided paying out millions of pounds in damages because Mr Justice Mann found that Fulham had failed to establish that it had suffered any loss because of the advice given by Kirkpatrick’s legacy UK firm Nicholson Graham & Jones in 1997.
A spokesperson for Fulham said the club found it “totally unacceptable” that Mann J had found Nicholson Graham negligent but had not awarded substantial damages. The club said it will be appealing against the judge’s decision.
Mann J awarded £6,750 in legal costs in respect of fees paid to Michael Briggs QC and David Richards QC for advice over an aspect of the acquisition.
He said that Fulham could not claim fees amounting to £109,275 for other counsel and solicitors DJ Freeman (now Kendall Freeman) and Lewis Silkin, because the fees had not been sufficiently proved. Kirkpatrick London senior partner Michael Johns said the firm was “delighted” with the outcome of the litigation.
Fulham launched its claim against Nicholson Graham after Al Fayed paid out £7.75m to minority shareholders to buy out their stakes in the club.
The club alleged that it was forced to make the payments because of the advice given by Nicholson Graham partner Richard Talbot.
Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw partner William Glassey acted for Kirkpatrick, instructing Four New Square head Roger Stewart QC.
Kendall Freeman managing partner Laurence Harris instructed Wilberforce Chambers’ Ian Croxford QC for the football club.