Icelandic bank Kaupthing turns to Weil for latest settlement

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Weil Gotshal & Manges took lead roles in the latest litigation involving the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.


A confidential settlement between Kaupthing’s winding-up board and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar has been agreed with the deal stipulating that the bank’s board drops its claims against the Sheikh.

Weil’s London-based team was led by litigation associate Hannah Field-Lowes and longstanding Kaupthing relationship partner Matthew Shankland. HSF’s team for the Qatari Sheikh was led by London-based dispute resolution partner Tim Parkes.

The case was brought on the basis of allegations that the Sheikh did not repay a loan to Kaupthing that the bank had issued to his companies in order to buy a five per cent stake in the bank shortly before its collapse in 2008.

The settlement is the latest Kaupthing matter to be handled by the Weil team, which includes members of the firm’s London structured finance, New York and London restructuring, and New York and Paris litigation practices (29 March 2009).

Shankland and his colleagues at the firm have won instructions on an asset recovery programme, the appointment of receivers, liquidation of companies, enforcement of a moratorium in England and the US and representing Kaupthing against claims by the Tchenguiz Trust (21 February 2011).

Weil is also instructed on ongoing litigation against former customers and subsidiaries of the bank about the apportionment of £130m of realised funds.

Shankland is also lead partner for the Barclay brothers in their ongoing property dispute with Irish businessman Paddy McKillen that was in the Court of Appeal last week (6 February 2013).

Weil also executed the European asset recovery and estate protection project for Lehman Brothers, for which it billed $383m (19 March 2012).