Banking & Finance Litigation

South Square is a leading banking and finance set, its substantial presence across the breadth of the sector being both domestic and international.

Our members specialise in large-scale and high-profile disputes before the English courts.  Acting for both financial institutions and counterparties, hedge funds and private equity groups, as well as intra-bank disputes, we are regularly instructed in significant and landmark decisions concerning diverse issues in the banking and financial sector.

We are particularly well placed to handle credit crunch litigation and advisory work due to our restructuring expertise.

Our barristers also regularly advise public bodies such as the Bank of England, the FCA and HM Treasury.

The disputes or advisory work in which members of South Square have been or are currently involved include:

  • Complex issues concerning the international financial and capital markets.
  • Litigation arising out of derivatives transactions, securitisations and structured finance products.
  • Litigation relating to alleged LIBOR manipulation, including the first major case to test such claims at appellate level.
  • The bank charges test case.
  • The high-profile and landmark litigation arising out of the collapse of Lehman Brothers at the highest appellate levels.
  • The high-value offshore litigation arising in relation to the Madoff fraud.

Recent cases before the Supreme Court include:

  • OFT v Abbey National – the bank charges test case.
  • Lehman Waterfall I, II and III Applications – Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Chancery Division proceedings to determine entitlements to US$7 billion Lehman Brothers surplus.
  • BNY Mellon v LBG Capital No 1 – decision concerning convertible securities and redemption.

Recent cases of particular note include:

  • Graiseley v Barclays Bank – the first major case to test mis-selling and misrepresentation claims arising out of alleged LIBOR manipulation.
  • Golden Belt 1 Susuk v BNP Paribas – high-profile trial to determine existence of tortious duty of care on the part of arranging bank.
  • Assenagon Asset Management v Irish Bank Resolution Corp – litigation concerning the validity of exit consents in relation to corporate bonds.
  • Canary Wharf Finance II v Deutsche Trustee Co – first case to determine the obligation to make a Spens payment under major notes issue.
  • Saltri III v MD Mezzanine Sicar – challenge to enforcement sale by security trustee.
  • Napier Park v Harbourmaster Pro-rata CLO – litigation to determine interpretation of reinvestment criteria in CLO transaction.
  • Deutsche Bank v Dana Gas – litigation in relation to a US$1 billion financial transaction.
  • Primeo Fund v HSBC – Cayman Islands proceedings (Court of Appeal and Grand Court) to determine claim of some US$1 billion against HSBC, arising in relation to the Madoff fraud.
  • Harbinger Capital v Caldwell – Court of Appeal decision concerning compensation for former Northern Rock shareholders.
  • Raiffeisen Zentralbank v Royal Bank of Scotland – large-scale trial of misrepresentation claims arising out of Enron transaction.
  • National Westminster Bank v Rabobank Nederland – large-scale litigation to determine misrepresentation/breach of duty claims between syndicate members.

Members are routinely instructed in large-scale derivatives litigation, including the following decisions: Lomas v JFB Firth Rixson; Fondazione Enasarco v Lehman Brothers Finance SA; Standard Chartered Bank v Ceylon Petroleum; Lehman Brothers Commodity Services v Credit Agricole.

Members are also routinely instructed in large-scale litigation arising out of securitisations, including the following decisions: US Bank Trustees v Titan Europe 2007-1 (NHP); Deutsche Trustee Co v Cheyne Capital; Hayfin Opal v Windermere VII CMBS; BNY Mellon v Taberna CDO 1 plc; UBS AG v GLAS Trust Corp.

Most recently, members have been instructed in a series of cases relating to LMA financing documentation, including the following decisions: VR Global Partners v Exotix Partners; African Export-Import Bank v Shebah Exploration; GSO Credit Partners v Barclays Bank; Morgan Stanley v Tael One Partners.


'Members have expertise in some of the most complex banking issues the market has to offer'Legal 500

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