Defending against a £20million claim

John acted for a Defendant in a case in which the Claimant was attempting to make a claim whose value, taking into account costs, investigative work, and legal fees, spiralled, at its highest, to £20 million. This figure would, if awarded, bankrupt John’s client.


The Defendant had been in practice as a high level financial advisor on behalf of a financial institution. A contract had been entered into between the Claimant and the company for the Claimant to lend significant sums of money. The company had been wound up some years previously, and was no longer available as a legal entity to bring a case against.

 The main question to be determined by the court was whether the company, or the defendant as an individual, was party to the contract.

 The case involved John in detailed argument on contractual provisions, and interpretation of case law. He was instructed both through solicitors and via the direct access scheme to give written advice, prepare pleadings, and recommend tactics going forward.

 John prepared Complex Part 36 offers, which strengthened his client’s costs position, and a lengthy skeleton argument setting out why, as a company and/ or an individual the Defendant should not be liable.

 At the door of court, having been presented with John’s skeleton argument, the Claimant asked for time to negotiate. Settlement was reached for around 2% of the original amount.