Addleshaws’ TLT hire leads to Barclays instruction on case against former Dewey partners

Addleshaw Goddard has won an instruction from Barclays Bank on its attempts to recoup money loaned to partners of collapsed US firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, following the hire of partner Richard Clayton from TLT.

Clayton moved to Addleshaws late last year from the Bristol-headquartered firm. It is understood that notices of change have been filed at the High Court to change the bank’s advisers from TLT to Addleshaws, with Clayton still leading.

He has instructed Fountain Court Chambers’ Guy Philipps QC and Adam Zellick to lead the case.

Barclays is seeking over $15m from 50 former partners in repayment of capital loans granted to them before Dewey’s collapse in 2012 (29 May 2012). In July that year the bank turned down attempts by the partners to settle the claims (27 July 2012) and later filed claims in the High Court.

In November 2013 Barclays filed a claim for summary judgment against three former partners, Lester Charles Landgraf, Londell McMillan and Elias Farrah (22 November 2013). Mr Justice Popplewell rejected the application last year, paving the way for a full trial which is expected to examine whether Barclays colluded with Dewey to induce partners to take out individual loans to keep the firm afloat (4 March 2014).

The case is featured in The Lawyer’s roundup of this year’s top 20 cases to watch (19 January 2015) with a trial date of 5 May.

A fourth partner, Lewis Rosenbloom, has now been added to the defendants. Meanwhile Farrah has also switched adviser, instructing Signature Litigation partner Graham Huntley while his former colleagues, including Rosenbloom, have retained Candey partner Andrew Dunn.

Issues under scrutiny at the trial will include partner loan programmes and the financing of equity contributions in LLPs. It could affect whether lending will continue to be available at all to those wishing to become or remain partners in professional firms.

Addleshaws has previously acted for Barclays on a number of cases, most notably a dispute with Italian bank Unicredit over guarantees for credit risks. Barclays’ claim was upheld by the High Court in 2012 and by the Court of Appeal in March last year.

TLT was added to Barclays’ global panel as a preferred supplier in July last year, and has acted for the bank for some time. Banking litigation partner Jonathan Hoey is the client relationship partner for Barclays.

Meanwhile the Manhattan Supreme Court has pushed back the fraud trial against Dewey’s former management to 27 April from its original date of late February. Dewey’s former chief financial officer Joel Sanders has also changed his counsel, switching Hughes Hubbard & Reed partners Edward Little and Marc Weinstein for sole practitioner Andrew Frisch.

The legal line-up:

For the claimant, Barclays Bank plc

Fountain Court Chambers’ Guy Philipps QC and Adam Zellick instructed by Addleshaw Goddard partner Richard Clayton

For the defendants, Lester Charles Landgraf, Londell McMillan and Lewis Rosenbloom

4 Stone Buildings’ John Brisby QC and Alexander Cook, instructed by Candey partner Andrew Dunn

For the defendant, Elias Farrah

4 New Square’s Dan Saoul, instructed by Signature Litigation partner Graham Huntley