Stewarts Law, 2Birds, the angry investors and the Scottish bank

How long does it take to launch a rights issue claim? It has been more than three years since lawyer Steven Baker began advising the RBOS Shareholder Action Group on a potential £4bn claim against the bank.

Back when the action was first mooted in 2010 Baker was still co-head of litigation at Olswang. He moved to Bird & Bird early last year taking the case with him and maintaining Serle Court’s Philip Marshall QC as counsel.

Today the case was officially launched with RBS, its former chairman Sir Tom McKillop and chief executive Fred Goodwin, named as defendants in the misrepresentation action. The group is believed to be gearing up to apply for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) to help manage the case.

Whether the case will be joined with action being pursued by Stewarts Law against the bank for financial institutions and pension funds will be down to the judiciary.

That claim was launched last week, with 3 Verulam Buildings’ Andrew Onslow QC instructed to act for financial institutions and pension funds in their case over the 2008 rights issue.

Herbert Smith Freehills is preparing to try and bat off the claims.

For London’s top litigators the financial contraction of what was once Scotland’s biggest bank, RBS, has proved a fee earner.

For every Celtic there’s a Rangers, however, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that RBS’ demise has had a dire impact on the Scottish legal market.


Elsewhere in litigation:

  • When is Greek yoghurt Greek yogurt? Mr Justice Briggs has his say in a battle over IP rights of the dairy product
  • Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells and DLA Piper have been appointed to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) first panel of experts that will be called upon to undertake investigations at banks
  • And the Jackson reforms have arrived. Read here what the lawyers have to say about the impact of the reform program