SH win allows NTC to instruct on Libyan cash

Stephenson Harwood has won a High Court order for the British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB) allowing it to act legally on the instructions of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

Stephenson Harwood head of commercial litigation John Fordham instructed 3 Verulam Buildings’ Andrew Fletcher QC to act for the bank.

The bank had wanted clarity on who it should take instructions from following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime.

According to Mr Justice Blair the matter was urgent because “several thousand Libyan students are studying in this country, and are dependent on support by way of payments from the accounts in question”.

Blair J said the order should be granted because the British Government had recognised the council as the “sole governmental authority in Libya”.

The UK officially recognised the NTC as the ruling government of Libya last week (24 August). The NTC was represented in the proceedings by Clyde & Co partner Tim Foley, who instructed Littleton Chambers’ Richard Perkoff.

It is understood that Clydes will have an ongoing advisory role for the NTC and further cases are in the pipeline.

In the BACB case the Treasury Solicitor instructed David Perry QC of 6 King’s Bench Walk to lead 39 Essex Street’s Christopher Staker for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.