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.

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