Bermudian bank sues Links for negligence

Linklaters has called in Clyde & Co to defend it from former clients demanding damages of £2.7m plus interest for negligence.

Bermudian financial institution The Bank of NT Butterfield & Son, along with its subsidiary Field Real Estate Holdings, are suing over the magic circle firm’s advice concerning two leases.

The clients have accused Linklaters of failing to adequately advise over options to end the sub-underlease of premises on the sixth and seventh floor of 24 Chiswell Street, London.

The bank, acting as guarantor in the sub-underleases, and the holdings company are pursuing £2,656,420.94 with interest for damages they suffered after they did not realise it was critical to pay break premiums totalling £538,500 when Field looked to end the leases.

They accused Linklaters of negligently failing to tell them that it was critical to make the break premium payments.

On 28 and 30 September 2004 Linklaters served notice on landlord Commercial Union (CU), exercising the option to determine the leases.

Later Field’s managing agents Jones Lang Lasalle tried to pay £134,625 to CU’s managing agents King Sturge in a bid to exercise the option, but this was refused.

The claimants said that, to mitigate their losses, they entered into negotiations with CU to surrender the leases, paying out £1.5m in the process.

Linklaters declined to comment.