Banking

Littleton offers clients a wide range of expertise in banking matters. Members of Littleton have advised major lending institutions on Banker and Customer Disputes, Consumer Credit Act matters, and Guarantee Claims.

In August 2011 Littleton's Richard Perkoff succeeded in securing a declaration that the British Arab Commercial Bank were entitled to act on the instruction of the Libyan NTC, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Gadafi regime. (British Arab Commercial Bank plc v Natoinal Transitional Council of Libya [2011] EWHC 2274).

Other retail banking matters have included payment system disputes, notably concerning the operation of the Direct Debit Scheme and multi-party credit card arrangements.

Recently Littleton investment banking expertise has been drawn on by parties involved in disputes arising from the credit crunch and in particular the Icelandic Banking Crisis.

Retail Banking

Significant reported retail banking matters include:

  • Jarrett v First National Bank & Others [1999] Q.B. 1 Brussels convention, credit obtained in England to finance foreign timeshares
  • Leadenhall Capital Management Ltd v Shamurin [2001] All ER (D) 212 (Dec) authenticity of loan agreements
  • National Westminster Bank v Bonas and Brice Droogleever [2003] EWHC 1821 (Ch) bank guarantees and solicitors’ breach of confidence
  • Fielding v Royal Bank of Scotland, The Times, February 26, 2004 overdrafts and joint accounts
  • Abou Rahmah v Abacha and others [2007] 1 All ER (Comm) 827 advance fee fraud, dishonest assistance, bank’s POCA obligations and duty of care to third parties
  • Peter Nolan v Graham Wright [2009] 3 All E.R. 823 limitation period in connection with extortionate credit bargain

Members of Littleton are currently instructed in a number of high-value and confidential claims involving retail banks. They are sought out both as trial advocates and as strategic advisers in respect of major risks presented by matters such as the Bank Charges Case, ongoing Consumer Credit Act test cases, or the Northern Rock mortgage book. Recent regulatory work includes advising on whether or not an institution was an unlicensed deposit taker for the purposes of FSMA and also advising on potential breaches of COB rules in the management of an OEIC.

Investment Banking

Current or recent investment banking matters include several cases listed under civil fraud, and also:

  • Acting for Icelandic Investors attempting to recover c. £70m from subsidiaries of the failed Icelandic Bank Kaupthing (ongoing, one limb having been successfully pursued to summary judgment for €2.8m: Isis Investments Ltd v Kaupthing Bank and others)
  • Acting in a £multi-million dispute between Meinl Bank AG and former wholly owned investment vehicle subsidiaries concerning a licence agreement alleged to amount to an unlawful return of capital and an unconscionable bargain
  • Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd v Tisun Investments fairness of terms in investment banking agreement
  • A multi-million pound dispute between a bank and a shipping company concerning derivative trading in freight forward agreements
  • Acting for successful defendant in a claim against the administrator of an Icelandic trading group  for return of money allegedly paid without consideration