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The Lawyer recognises four cases involving Serle Court members in its ‘Top 20 Cases of 2019’

Today The Lawyer revealed its Top 20 Cases of 2019.  The write-up notes that four members of Serle Court are instructed for different parties in the High Commissioner for Pakistan Litigation involving some of the most recognised Private Client firms in the UK.  The cases involving members of Serle Court are as follows:

  1. High Commissioner for Pakistan in the UK v NatWest Bank PLC

In September 1948 a transfer was made of £1,000,000 from HEH the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad to Mr Ibrahim Rahimtoola, then High Commissioner for Pakistan in the United Kingdom. The transfer occurred during the course of Operation Polo, the short military campaign by which the state of India annexed independent Hyderabad. Asserting that the transfer was made without his authority, the 7th Nizam commenced proceedings against Mr Rahimtoola in July 1954, only to be met by a plea of sovereign immunity by Pakistan, claiming to be Mr Rahimtoola’s principal. The issue went to the House of Lords, which upheld Pakistan’s immunity (Rahimtoola v Nizam of Hyderabad [1958] AC 379), and concluded that the matter must be stayed until such time as Pakistan herself elected to sue the Bank.

The dispute remained deadlocked until June 2013 when Pakistan took just that course and issued proceedings against the Bank. The parties now joined and asserting beneficial title to the fund (today worth in excess of £35,000,000) include the state of India, HEH the 8th Nizam, Prince Muffakham Jah, and the Administrator of the estate of the 7th Nizam. A trial of the substantive merits of this dispute will finally be held in June 2019, marking a significant milestone in one of the most famous legal battles of the past century.

Khawar Qureshi QC is instructed by Stephenson Harwood for Pakistan.

Jonathan McDonagh is led by Hodge Malek QC of 3 Verulam Buildings and instructed by Devonshires.

James Brightwell is led by Timothy Otty QC of Blackstone Chambers and is instructed by TLT for the third defendant, India.

Giles Richardson is instructed by Pennington Manches for the administrator, The Estate of the 7th Nizam.

Trial date: 4 June 2019, three weeks

Judge and court: Marcus Smith J, Chancery Division

  1. Yukos Finance B.V. & Ors v Stephen Lynch & Ors

Jonathan Adkin QC and Sophia Hurst represent the Fifth Defendant in a series of claims arising out of the historic bankruptcy of a large Russian oil company, OAO Yukos Oil.  Auctions of Yukos Oil’s assets took place in Russia between March and August 2007 which the Claimants claim were rigged. 

Trial date: 10 June 2019, six weeks

Judge and court: Commercial Court (not assigned to a specific Judge)

  1. (1) Alexander Mayr, (2) Rouver Investment SÀRL, (3) Life Sciences Partners Limited and (4) Spokane Investments Limited v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang 

A multi-million-pound professional negligence claim CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang’s after an aborted deal for a former private equity client allegedly resulted in £65m worth of losses.

Serle Court’s Justin Higgo and Stephanie Thompson act for the Claimants, with 4 Stone Buildings’ Jonathan Crow QC, James Knott and Karl Anderson, instructed by Asserson Law’s Trevor Asserson.

Trial date: 28 January 2019, four weeks

Judge and court: High Court, Business & Property Court

  1. The Secretary of State for Health and the NHS Business Services Authority v Servier Laboratories Limited, (2) Servier Research and Development Limited, (4) Les Laboratoires Servier SAS, (5) Servier SAS

Drugs patents litigation in which the Secretary of State for Health and the NHS allege a breach of EU and UK competition laws after it supposedly paid to delay the patent expiry of its blood pressure lowering ‘blockbuster’ drug, Perindopril.

David Drake is instructed by Peters & Peters partners Jonathan Tickner and Jason Woodland and of counsel Emma Ruane.

Trial date: 1 October 2019, three weeks

Judge and court: High Court, Business & Property Court

To read the ‘Top 20 Cases’ from The Lawyer, please click here.