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18 May 2012

Firm and partner cleared of £60m negligence claim

A leading mid-tier London law firm and one of its partners have been cleared of a £60 million negligence and dishonesty claim after a court found the allegations were unsubstantiated.

London's High Court: relief for Collyer Bristow

Collyer Bristow Solicitors and its former partner John Bailey had, along with eight other defendants, faced a string of allegations from a group of some 500 investors following the failure of 19 complex arrangements put together by the scheme Innovator One between 2002 and 2005.

Litigation funding

London-based civil and criminal litigation practice Byrne & Partners acted for Collyer Bristow and Mr Bailey in the High Court case that saw them cleared of negligence, dishonesty and breach of duty.
The decision comes as a blow to London-based firms Addleshaw Goddard and Enyo Law – which brought the action on behalf of the investors and secured a finance package combining a discounted conditional fee agreement, £5m worth of litigation funding from Allianz ProzessFinanz and after-the-event insurance covered by QBE and Brit Insurance.

Football fight

Byrne partner Nicola Boulton, commented: ‘Mr Bailey is exonerated. The judge was very clear; Mr Bailey acted honestly and was not responsible for claimant losses. This ruling is very important to my client; he can now focus on his clients, and re-start his life which has been severely disrupted by this claim.’
However, Collyer Bristow continues to face a separate negligence claim relating to its handling of issues around the insolvency of Glasgow Rangers Football Club. That claim, which the firm is also defending, is understood to be worth £25m.

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