Peter de Verneuil-Smith QC, Philip Hinks and Dominic Kennelly have successfully opposed an application by Tesco to withdraw an admission that statements as to its expected profits were untrue or misleading for the purposes of section 90A FSMA. The application was made in the context of the shareholder litigation against Tesco arising from the supermarket retailer’s c.£300m overstatement of profits that was disclosed to the market in September 2014.
In a judgment handed down today, Hildyard J refused Tesco permission to resile from its admission that a statement made in its published information was untrue and misleading. In so deciding, the Judge concluded that to permit Tesco to withdraw that admission would create inconsistency with findings previously made against it (and/or to which Tesco had agreed to be bound) in an FCA Final Notice and a Deferred Prosecution Agreement agreed with the SFO; that the premise of Tesco’s argument on this issue was counter-intuitive; and that its prospects of succeeding would be frail.
A copy of the judgment is available here.
The trial of the claim against Tesco is due to commence in June 2020 and is scheduled to last until October 2020. Peter, Philip and Dominic are instructed by Morgan Lewis and Bockius LLP.