Tchenguiz brothers continue court battles with fresh lawsuit

Businessman brothers Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz must know their way around the Royal Courts of Justice pretty well by now.

Their battles with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began in 2011 when the body conducted dawn raids on the Tchenguiz’s businesses. But the SFO dropped its investigation into the pair’s affairs in 2012 and was then hit by criticism from Queen’s Bench president Sir John Thomas, who ruled its search warrants had been unlawfully obtained.

The Tchenguiz brothers then launched damages claims against the SFO, resulting in a huge disclosure exercise and mammoth legal bills. The court cases ended in July with first Vincent and then Robert settling for a total of £4.5m.

Vincent Tchenguiz has now turned his attention to Grant Thornton and Kaupthing Bank, filing claims for £2.2bn over their roles in the SFO investigation. McGuireWoods partner Hardeep Nahal has instructed Selborne Chambers’ Romie Tager QC and Wilberforce Chambers’ Harris Bor for Vincent.

But the real legal winner might be Stephenson Harwood. Partner Sean Jeffrey was originally instructed by Vincent Tchenguiz on his damages claim. In July this year he took over from Shearman & Sterling partner Josanne Rickard to advise Robert Tchenguiz too – and is now acting for the Tchenguiz family trusts on the Grant Thornton case.

The claim is likely to be one of the biggest cases of the coming year, just as the Tchenguiz’s fight with the SFO proved to be one of the biggest of 2014.

Also on TheLawyer.com:

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland has turned to Dentons to defend it against a £30m claim from Cooke Young & Keidan client property developer Property Alliance Group over Libor-related misselling allegations
  • Nabarro is understood to be in talks with a Singapore firm over the possibility of an exclusive relationship, with disputes head Jonathan Warne and construction partner James Snape leading negotiations
  • Mishcon de Reya and 1 Hare Court have secured a landmark settlement of £337m for the wife of hedge fund billionaire Sir Chris Hohn, in what is thought to be the largest figure ever awarded by an English court in divorce proceedings 
  • Matrix has continued to build its media team with the hire of Doughty Street Chambers’ Gavin Millar QC
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