12 September 2016

HSF sues client over unpaid fees

Herbert Smith Freehills has successfully sued its client San Leon Energy at London's High Court for nearly £500,000 in unpaid fees.

By Victoria Basham

Chris Dorney

The action was taken after the Ireland-based San Leon instructed the law firm to defend it in a dispute with Dutch investment group Avobone over a Polish gas field at the International Court of Arbitration. San Leon lost at the ICA and unsuccessfully appealed the award to the UK commercial court.

HSF invoiced the client for nine separate fee payments from June 2014 until September 2015, with the total principal amount outstanding accumulating to £482,000 including VAT and contractual interest.

Settlement

Earlier this year, San Leon's executive chairman Oisin Fanning and HSF litigation partner Anna Pertoldi came to a settlement by way of an email exchange in which it was agreed the full amount would be paid by 8 April. San Leon failed to do so and Ms Pertoldi subsequently sought redress through the courts, with interest on the principal sum accruing at a daily rate of £44.00 from 8 April.

A court order handed down in May ordered San Leon to pay HSF £483,000 plus £10,000 in costs.

Source: Legal Business

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