Going Underground

There are plenty of reasons not to love the London Underground: it’s hot, cramped, you rarely get a seat, and sometimes it sues you for over £140m. Oh, that last one only applies to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

London Underground Ltd (LUL) used to be a lucrative client for Freshfields, until a 2003 PPP deal with the now defunct Metronet went south and LUL switched to Herbert Smith.

Not content with just taking away its business, LUL is now suing Freshfields for £142m, plus the costs it incurred getting someone else to repay it £37m, plus interest (see story). LUL claims that Freshfields was negligent in drafting documents relating to the 2003 deal, which allegedly put the company on the hook for a £178.5m payout to Metronet’s funders.

The claim was launched by Ince & Co partner Andrew Ottley, with Freshfields instructing Mayer Brown and retaining Laurence Rabinowitz QC as it prepares to vigorously refute the allegations.


Also on TheLawyer.com: What Clydes really wants; how firms north of the border are faring; and an interview with Kingfisher’s legal chief.