Magic circle lead charge against Libor-rigging claims at the CoA

Barclays is to attempt to stamp out fraudulent misrepresentation claims related to the Libor scandal at the Court of Appeal (CoA), after the High Court yesterday said the bank could challenge the fraud claims.

Tim Lord QC
Tim Lord QC

The appeal is now expected to be joined with a second fraudulent misrepresentation case being pursued against Deutsche Bank by Indian property firm Unitech Global.

The battle is shaping up to become a showdown between the magic circle for the defendant banks, and Stephenson Harwood and boutique Cooke Young & Keidan (CYK) for the claimants.

Clifford Chance partner Ian Moulding has brought in fresh counsel to lead the appeal against the fraudulent misrepresentation claim amendment by CYK client Graiseley Properties. South Square’s Robin Dicker QC has joined the counsel team, which was previously led by 3 Verulam Buildings’ Adrian Beltrami QC, who retains the instruction.

Meanwhile, Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Andrew Denney and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are both leading claims for Deutsche Bank, against pursued by Stephenson Harwood client Unitech, which has countered with a Libor-rigging defence.

In February Mr Justice Cooke refused Unitech permission to amend its defence alleging interest rate-rigging including fraudulent misrepresentation claims against the bank (see judgment).

Mark Hapgood QC
Mark Hapgood QC

A counsel team of five barristers were instructed for the bank, including three silks: Fountain Court’s Richard Handyside QC instructed by A&O and Brick Court’s Mark Hapgood QC and Timothy Howe QC, also of Fountain Court, instructed by Freshfields.

The ruling by Cooke J triggered the appeal bid by Barclays, five months on from the original High Court ruling against the bank (see judgment).

The CoA will decide in which circumstance a fraudulent misrepresentation claim can be pursued.

If successful in knocking out the appeal, CYK’s case for the care home will now be heard in April 2014.

Guardian Care Homes initially launched its £38m claim for alleged mis-selling of two interest rate swaps in 2007 and 2008. The operator of 27 care homes in the UK had bought the swaps to refinance two loans with Barclays.

It is also claiming up to £70m against the bank for the mis-selling of these products.

Deutsche Bank launched a claim against Unitech last year alleging it was owed $11m under an interest-rate swap and that it had failed to repay a $150m loan to a lending group. Unitech then launched its own claim alleging that the rate swap was not suitable nor properly explained at the time of the deal.

Unitech Global & Ors v Deutsche Bank & Ors

For the defendant Unitech Global:

4 Stone Buildings’ John Brisby QC leading Alastair Tomson of the same set and Michael D’Arcy of One Essex Court instructed by Stephenson Harwood partner Richard Gwynn

For the claimant in the Lenders Action (Claim No 2011. Folio 1199):

Fountain Court’s Richard Handyside QC to lead Adam Zellick of the same set instructed by Allen & Overy partner Andrew Denney

For the claimant in the Swap Action (Claim No 2012. Folio 464):

Brick Court’s Mark Hapgood QC, Fountain Court’s Timothy Howe QC and Adam Sher also of Fountain Court instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Andrew Hart

Graisley Properties Ltd & Ors v Barclays Bank plc

For the claimant Guardian Care Homes:

Brick Court’s Tim Lord QC leading Outer Temple’s Farhaz Kahn, instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan partner Philip Young and consultant Len Murray

For the defendant Barclays Bank:

Clifford Chance partner Ian Moulding, instructed South Square’s Robin Dicker QC and 3 Verulam Buildings’ Adrian Beltrami QC