Simmons, A&O win costs on Equitable

Equitable Life has settled its outstanding litigation against nine former directors, with Allen & Overy (A&O) and Simmons & Simmons recovering their costs.

The agreement was reached on Friday (2 December) and brings to an end a litigation saga lasting four years.

A&O, Simmons’ partner Philip Vaughan, and Simmons’ lead counsel Peter Leaver QC of One Essex Court were all acting on conditional fee arrangements (CFAs) and had held out despite six other directors settling on a ‘drop-hands’ basis during the past two months. The settlement sees Equitable pay £5.2m to A&O’s six clients.

Equitable chairman Vanni Treves said: “Following further consideration with our legal team, our conclusion was that we should end the litigation on the best terms available.”

A&O litigation partner Tim House instructed One Essex Court’s Laurence Rabinowitz QC. Fox Williams‘ Gavin Foggo, instructing 3 Verulam Buildings’ Christopher Symons QC, advised former executive David Thomas. Herbert Smith acted for Equitable, instructing 20 Essex Street’s Iain Milligan QC.