Lehman latest sees Linklaters win court battle

Linklaters has won the latest legal battle over Lehman Brothers’ main European operations.

The High Court ruled on Friday (19 November) that more than $1bn of the collapsed bank’s assets should stay with the European operations rather than be handed to its global subsidiaries.

Linklaters partner James Gardner instructed 20 Essex Street’s Iain Milligan QC to act for the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in its dispute with various subsidiaries over repurchase deals and stock loans known as Rascals. Such deals were designed to move the bank’s assets between its operations.

The break-up of Lehman in 2008 sparked a massive legal battle over who could claim ownership of the assets. In his ruling Mr Justice Briggs found that after the initial acquisition of the securities they were beneficially owned by the defendant affiliates.

However, when the Rascals were enacted the beneficial titles in the securities were transferred to LBIE. Therefore, Brigg J ruled, the securities which had gone through the traditional Rascals process were beneficially owned by LBIE.

In giving his ruling, Briggs J rejected arguments from leading counsel including 3-4 South Square’s Gabriel Moss QC and Fountain Court’s Michael Brindle QC.

Full list of counsel


Linklaters partner James Gardner instructed 20 Essex Street’s Iain Milligan QC and Guy Morpuss QC to lead 3-4 South Square’s Daniel Bayfield & Socrates Papadopoulos also of 20 Essex Street;


Herbert Smith partner Tim Parkes instructed 3-4 South Square’s Gabriel Moss QC to lead William Willson for Lehman Brothers Finance;

Mayer Brown David Allen and Steve Millar instructed Robin Dicker QC of 3-4 South Square to lead Tom Smith for Lehman Brothers Commercial Corporation Asia  and Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings;

Norton Rose partner Radford Goodman instructed Michael Brindle QC of Fountain Court to lead Nick Yeo for Lehman Brothers Inc; and

Weil Gotshal & Manges partner Matthew Shankland instructed Serle Court’s Philip Jones QC instructed by for Lehman Brothers Special Financing.