3VB team achieves settlement in RBS Rights Issue Litigation

The RBS Rights Issue litigation has now been substantially settled.  Jonathan Nash QC, Matthew Parker, Peter de Verneuil Smith, Ian Higgins and Hannah Glover, who were instructed by Signature Litigation LLP (Graham Huntley and Julian Connerty), acted for the RBOS Shareholders Action Group.

The claim related to RBS’s £12bn rights issue in April 2008, shortly before it failed and had to be bailed out by the UK Government.  The Claimants were shareholders who took up rights, and who alleged that the prospectus contained untrue and misleading statements, and wrongful omissions, in relation to the true state of RBS.  The complaints focussed on RBS’s presentation in the prospectus of its capital position, its liquidity position, and the purpose of the Rights Issue.

Other claimants represented by members of 3VB settled in December 2016.  Andrew Onslow QC, Adam Kramer and Scott Ralston were instructed by Stewarts Law LLP, and Michael Lazarus was instructed by Leon Kaye Solicitors.

The case has been widely reported in the national press, particularly because of the prospect of RBS’s former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin having to give evidence.  It is also of significant interest from a legal perspective, as the first claim under s.90 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to reach trial (albeit the case was not formally opened).

There have been more than twenty pre-trial hearings, including eleven CMCs over the last four years. Those have given rise to a series of written judgments relating to this case, including:

an important decision on legal professional privilege and internal investigations (The RBS Rights Issue Litigation [2017] Lloyd’s Rep PC 83; [2016] EWHC 3161 (Ch)), at which Jonathan Nash QC and Hannah Glover appeared

an important decision on the disclosability of ATE policies and litigation funders in a group litigation context (The RBS Rights Issue Litigation [2017] EWHC 463 (Ch)), at which Jonathan Nash QC, Peter de Verneuil Smith and Ian Higgins appeared; and

a decision on (i) permission to call an expert evidence of an equity analyst and (ii) an application to adjourn the trial (The RBS Rights Issue Litigation [2015] EWHC 3433 (Ch)), at which Jonathan Nash QC, Peter de Verneuil Smith and Ian Higgins appeared, together with Andrew Onslow QC, Adam Kramer and Scott Ralston.

The trial has now been vacated, to allow for claimants which have not accepted the settlement offer to make a decision as to how to proceed.

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