This complex and long-running claim came to a fruitful end last year, as a joint team from Simmons & Simmons and Travers Smith successfully defended a multi-million-pound claim against their clients.
Defending against extremely litigious opponents and under the backdrop of SFO investigations, almost 100 interlocutory applications and a cunning property tycoon, Robert Tchenguiz was defeated by Simmons and Travers after fighting the claim against Grant Thornton since 2012.
As one judge comments: “Absolute and complete victory for this team in defending the highest profile claims by Tchenguiz and others for sums of more than £1.5bn.”
“The importance of excellent defence strategies like this cannot be underestimated both for the clients involved and – when the transcript and decision is made public – ‘pour encourager (or properly pour decourager) les autres’ who might wish to bully other litigants with litigation of this sort. Great outcome.”
Another comments: “Outstanding representation of defendants in exceptionally hard-fought litigation leading to highly unusual judicial statement vindicating defendants.”
Tchenguiz alleged that Grant Thornton and three senior professionals owed him £1.6m following the collapse of Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The unusual case saw the tycoon use the courts to gain commercial leverage.
Highly Commended – Herbert Smith Freehills
Pitted against five heavyweight firms, Herbert Smith Freehills successfully won an insurance claim for offshore oil contractor Single Buoy Moorings (SBM). Judges commended Herbert Smith for its use of tech, as one judge comments: “Seriously big-ticket litigation, over a lengthy period, employing innovative predictive coding technology.”
Commended – Clifford Chance
If the result of this case hadn’t gone the way it did, we could be seeing an outpouring of litigations under the cloud that is Brexit. However, Clifford Chance prevented this by securing victory in a case one judge describes as “ground-breaking stuff” that “required collaboration across several areas of law and undertaken under significant time pressure.”