Coutts & Co turns to Herbies for High Court battle

RBS’s private banking arm Coutts & Co has turned to Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) global head of litigation Sonya Leydecker and partner Rupert Lewis for its High Court battle with entrepreneur Sir Keith Mills.

Sonya Leydecker
Sonya Leydecker

Clyde & Co partner Ivan Wilkinson is representing the former deputy chair of London 2012 with Brick Court Chambers’ Simon Salzedo QC leading the advocacy in the flght.

HSF has instructed One Essex Court’s Anthony de Garr Robinson QC to lead Fountain Court’s Patrick Goodall in the case.

A court date has been set down for the end of the month, bringing to a climax a four-year battle between the parties.

Salzedo will argues that Mills, who is known for setting up and selling the Airmiles and Nectar loyalty schemes,is owed millions by the bank for advising him to invest in AIG premier bonds in December 2007.

AIG suspended the bond fund, preventing investors from making further withdrawals, in September 2008. The following November AIG was bailed out by the US government at a cost of $150bn.

Coutts was fined more than £6m by the FSA for failings related to its sale of an AIG fund in November last year.

It is understood that just under 200 investors were offered compensation by the bank in June following a review by HSF, although it is unclear how many accepted.