Property Alliance Group v RBS: The Result

Members of Quadrant’s banking team analysed the judgment, outlining how the case has impacted on existing misselling claims and the present state of the law in relation to duties that banks owe their customers. 

PAG’s claim before Mrs Justice Asplin included rescission of four interest rate swaps on the basis of five implied representations as to the nature of LIBOR and RBS’s role in determining it, alternatively damages for breach of contract.  The case was also the first to consider a claim relating to RBS’s controversial “turnaround” division, the Global Restructuring Group (“GRG”) and the infamous “dash for cash” email.  The Judge dismissed all of PAG’s claims.

In granting permission Lord Justice Patten found that notwithstanding the difficulties in the appeal: “The appeal will provide a useful vehicle for determining what are likely to be central issues in most similar cases even if parts of the claim may ultimately fail on the facts”.

The appeal has therefore been identified as a “test case” and it will be of great importance to claimants seeking to progress LIBOR related misselling claims as well as those alleging that RBS's GRG restructuring caused the failure of their businesses. 

On Wednesday 21 March Paul Downes QC, Turlough Stone and Emily Saunderson explained the issues that arose in the appeal, the way that the Court of Appeal has resolved the “implied representation” theory, the allegations of LIBOR manipulation and whether a bank has any implied obligation in relation to the “GRG” aspect of the claim. 


Paul Downes QC

Paul Downes QC has recently joined Quadrant from 2TG where he headed the Banking and Finance Group.  He qualified as an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in 1986 and graduated with a first class degree in law from Oxford in 1990.  He has lectured on banking law in the UK, the USA, Dubai, Russia, Ukraine and the Far East, and has acted as an assistant examiner for the Chartered Institute of Bankers in banking law and accountancy.  Paul has appeared as an expert witness in the New York Supreme Court on matters of UK Financial Services law and practice, and in the High Court of Singapore on UK law in relation to letters of credit.  Paul has acted in many high profile misselling cases including Titan v RBS, and has been the lead contributor for the Butterworths Lexis Nexis publication Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, Banking Volume.

Turlough Stone

Turlough Stone specialises in commercial law. The principal emphasis of his practice is on banking and financial services (including asset finance), but it also encompasses a broad range of commercial disputes, from insolvency and commercial fraud cases to professional negligence and insurance matters. His clients cover the full range from UK and overseas institutional clients to public authorities, companies and private individuals. Turlough is presently instructed to act and advise on a number of mis-selling claims against UK banks, and is acting as lead junior counsel in a £1.7 billion claim against Barclays proceeding in the Financial List. Turlough previously worked on secondment at the US law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where he spent 3 months in the firm’s Derivatives & Structured Products and Asset Based Finance departments.

Emily Saunderson

Emily Saunderson practices in commercial law and has a particular expertise in banking and commercial fraud. She is recommended as a leading junior by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. Her recent cases include LSREF III Wight Ltd v Millvalley Ltd [2016] EWHC 466 (Comm), a claim for rectification of an ISDA master agreement and confirmation, and Globe Motors v TRW Lucas Varity [2016] EWCA Civ 396, a €30m dispute in respect of an exclusive supply agreement for components of electric power assisted steering systems. Emily is a contributor to Civil Appeals (2nd Edn), Supreme Court and Privy Council.