White & Case loses bid for Lloyds-HBOS merger JR

White & Case’s bid to launch a judicial review over the Government’s decision not to refer the Lloyds TSB-HBOS merger to the Competition Commission has failed.

<a class=White & Case loses bid for Lloyds-HBOS merger JR” />White & Case has failed in its bid to launch a judicial review over the Government’s decision not to refer the merger between LloydsTSB and HBOS to the Competition Commission.

Acting of behalf of the Scotland-based Merger Action Group, White & Case partner Ian Forrester QC (pictured) went to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to argue that Lord Mandelson ignored competition law when he gave the merger the go ahead.

“It was presented as a fait accompli. The Government had already decided to put competition issues aside,” Forrester said.

Acting for The Treasury, Paul Lasok QC of Monckton Chambers questioned whether the group had the legal right to bring the action.

Today, the CAT unanimously agreed with the Government and ruled that the application had no legal merit.

The Merger Action Group, formed by a group of Scottish business executives after the decision to merge the banks was taken, is understood to have more than 600 members.

Andrew Bowen of Edinburgh-based Terra Firma Chambers acted alongside Forrester for the Merger Action Group.

Nicholas Green QC of Brick Court Chambers was instructed by Allen & Overy partner Mark Friend to act on behalf of HBOS.

Helen Davies QC, also of Brick Court Chambers, was instructed by Linklaters partner John Turnball to act on behalf Lloyds TSB Group.

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