The firm is at the forefront of litigation involving LIBOR manipulation and deals with claims against banks arising out of their conduct, as well as the regulatory investigations in respect of both LIBOR and ISDAfix and the fines levied by the FSA (now FCA) as well as foreign regulators. The bringing of a LIBOR claim in an appropriate case may conceivably lead to a result where contracts are rescinded (i.e. torn up) and the claimant is placed back in the position that it would have been in had the contract never been entered into. This could in some cases, involving very substantial contracts, result in the customer being due compensation in the tens of millions of pounds sterling, or greater. In other cases, the claimant may be better off keeping the contracts in place and seeking a different measure of damages,

The firm’s lawyers acted successfully in the first and leading civil legal claim in the English High Court brought by Guardian Care Homes (Graiseley Properties and others) against Barclays in which fraudulent LIBOR fixing was alleged. Barclays settled the case shortly before a full trial. The firm has since acted in a number of other cases focussing on the unlawful manipulation of the LIBOR rate.

The important Court of Appeal Judgment of March 2018 in the case of Property Alliance Group -v- Royal Bank of Scotland plc is potentially extremely helpful to claimants in these cases. In view of certain findings made by the Court, which will be of wider potential application, the banks involved in wrongful LIBOR rigging activities are now in much greater difficulty in seeking to defend genuine claims than they were previously.

We are undoubtedly one of a very small number of firms who can claim to be truly expert and experienced in these cases and frequently work alongside leading financial experts. We have acted in claims which included a LIBOR manipulation allegation against almost all of the major UK banks. Lloyds/Bank of Scotland remain a prime target for such claims. Claims can also still be brought against other banks including other banks subject to regulatory findings such as Deutsche Bank and Rabobank. Claims may also be advanced against HSBC, notwithstanding that there has been no published regulatory findings in respect of LIBOR made against that particular bank. We recommend that clients take advice without delay so as to ensure that claims are brought within statutory limitation periods.

Further litigation in this field may include claims between market counterparties (such as claims by hedge funds and other investors against the BBA panel banks) as well as actions against individuals who were involved in or authorised the misconduct. Claims might include:

  • allegations of misrepresentation and conspiracy
  • allegations that investors have been mis-sold products based on LIBOR or ISDAfix without the selling bank revealing that the rate was being manipulated
  • claims for lost interest from counterparties who were receiving interest based on LIBOR or ISDAfix, such as bond holders
  • allegations that counterparties were prejudiced by being “knocked in” and “knocked out” of instruments at certain LIBOR or ISDAfix settings
  • competition law based claims

Primary contacts

Stephen Elam