The Lawyer Top Appeals of 2020

One Essex Court is delighted that 7 members of chambers are instructed in cases which feature in The Lawyer’s recently published Top Appeals of 2020.

Mastercard / Visa – Interchange Fee Litigation

A 4-day Supreme Court appeal of the £450m claim brought by retailers against alleged anti-competitive and excessive interchange fees on credit and debit card transactions. Judgment now pending.  Derek Spitz appeared (led) on behalf of Sainsburys, instructed by Mishcon de Reya partner, Rob Murray. Matthew Cook appeared (led) for Mastercard, instructed by Jones Day partner, Nick Cotter. 

AssetCo PLC v Grant Thornton UK LLP

A 3-day appeal, before the Court of Appeal, of a multi-million-pound negligence claim, brought by fire and emergency services provider, AssetCo.  The case, one of the first auditor negligence claims concerning alleged fraudulent manipulation of accounts to go to trial for decades, could become a leading case on the recoverability of “trading losses”, raising issues concerning causation, “giving credit” for benefits, and contributory negligence. Judgment now pending.  Simon Colton QC and Stephanie Wood appeared (led) on behalf of the Appellant, GT, instructed by Clyde & Co partner, James Roberts.

BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA & Ors

A 2-day Supreme Court appeal arises out of a claim by BTI that the payment of a c. €135m dividend was a breach of the Directors’ duties to consider the interests of creditors (pursuant to section 172(3) of the Companies Act 2006) and that Sequana is liable as a constructive trustee. The claim was dismissed by the Courts below.  BTI appeals.  Laurence Rabinowitz QC and Niranjan Venkatesan appear on behalf of the Respondents, instructed by Skadden’s partner, Karyl Nairn QC.

Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP

A 2-day Supreme Court appeal in the c.£50m claim for professional negligence concerning the hedge accounting treatment of certain interest rate derivatives, raising issues of the scope of auditors’ duties and the SAAMCO principle, and legal causation.  MBS appeals following judgment in a 5-week Commercial Court trial ([2018] EWHC 963 (Comm)) which was upheld on appeal ([2019] EWCA Civ 40).   Adam Rushworth appears (led) for the Respondent, GT, instructed by Taylor Wessing partner, Andrew Howell.

Walter Merricks & Ors v Mastercard

A 2-day Supreme Court appeal, which sees Mastercard attempting to quash a Court of Appeal Judgment ([2019] EWCA Civ 674) in favor of a prior Competition Appeals Tribunal decision ([2017] CAT 16).  The first US-style opt-out class action in the UK (on behalf of 46.2m individuals), seeks to reclaim funds (c.£14bn) for Mastercard users that were allegedly overcharged transaction fees from 1992-2008.  Matthew Cook appears (led) for Mastercard, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partners, Jonathan Isted, Mark Sampson and Nicholas Frey.

The full article can be viewed here.