Stewarts Law, Mishcon de Reya and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan have settled their clients’ claims against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the mammoth £4bn rights issue litigation.
The three firms, which represent a raft of major investors, will attend a private court hearing this week to hash out the admin related to the settlement.
RBS is understood to have agreed to pay £800m to the shareholders, representing approximately 41p for every £1 invested.
Stewarts partner Clive Zietman penned the letter to the judge regarding the hearing, which is understood to have been submitted today (5 December). Attached to it was a court order signed by the three settling parties.
More than 24,000 corporate and individual investors represented by Signature Litigation and, to a lesser extent Leon Kaye, have not settled and are heading towards trial, which will begin on 6 March 2017.
RBS CEO Ross McEwan said in a statement: “We have been very clear that we wanted to deal with as many of our legacy litigation issues as possible during 2015 and 2016.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement and hope that it will be accepted by the remaining claimant groups so that this long course of complex and costly litigation can now be concluded.”
The colossal case first launched in 2014 with four claimant groups alleging RBS’s £12bn rights issue in 2008 was defective and contained “material misstatements and omissions”.
Mishcon later came on the record for the Lloyds institutional investors and Investec after the claimants split off from the RBS Shareholders Action Group, represented by Signature.
The Signature group, now represented by firm head Graham Huntley, has been through various legal representation, first instructing Bird & Bird then Fladgate and then Signature.
RBS has instructed HSF partners Simon Clarke, Adam Johnson and Kirsten Massey on the case, with the firm previously estimating that its bill until the end of a trial on quantum would exceed £100m.
The bank and HSF were criticised in the High Court last November for their “unfocused”, “unsettling” and “less than compelling” approach to disclosure in the battle with shareholders.
Mr Justice Hildyard ruled RBS’s disclosure process “appears not to have been informed by any sufficient early attempt to grasp what would truly be involved”, adding its approach had been “diffuse”.
The legal line-up
For claimants, the Royal Bank of Scotland Shareholders Action group
3 Verulam Buildings’ Jonathan Nash QC, Peter de Vernueil Smith and Ian Higgins, instructed by Signature Litigation partner Graham Huntley
For claimants, the Stewarts Law group
3 Verulam Buildings’ Andrew Onslow QC, Adam Kramer and Scott Ralston, instructed by Stewarts Law partners Clive Zietman, Keith Thomas and Fiona Gillett
For the claimants, the Leon Kaye group
3 Verulam Buildings’ Michael Lazarus, instructed by Leon Kaye partner Leon Kaye
For the claimants, the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan group
One Essex Court’s Laurence Rabinowitz QC, Fountain Court’s Alex Barden and One Essex Court’s Maximillian Schlote, instructed by Quinn Emanuel partners Sue Prevezer QC and Martin Davies
For the claimants, the Mishcon de Reya group
20 Essex Street’s Luke Pearce, instructed by Mishcon partner Richard Leedham
For the defendants, RBS
Fountain Court’s David Railton QC and James McClelland, Serle Court’s David Blayney QC and Simon Hattan, One Essex Court’s Sonia Tolaney QC, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills partners Simon Clarke, Adam Johnson and Kirsten Massey