Property Alliance Group v RBS: The Shape of Claims to Come?

The Property Alliance v RBS LIBOR/GRG Court of Appeal hearing began on Monday 29th January as a “test case” and finished on Thursday 8th February.  Members of Quadrant’s banking team covered the case and gave an update seminar on 12th February 2018 explaining the shape of the appeal and the initial reaction of the appellate judges.

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 Monday 12th February 2018 Paul Downes QC, Robert-Jan Temmink QC and Emily Saunderson explained the issues that arose in the appeal, the legal background to the claims, the “implied representation” theory, and the nature of the “GRG” aspect of the claim.  Attendees gained invaluable insight into the way in which this case may have affect the prospects of similar claims in this field, months before the judgment is released.

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.

Robert-Jan Temmink QC

Robert-Jan Temmink QC is the head of the Commercial Chancery group at Quadrant.  He is widely-recognised as a talented advocate and is listed as a leading practitioner in the legal directories.   Robert’s practice is broad, ranging from financial services, fraud and insolvency to multi-jurisdictional issues in insolvency and commercial law often in Chambers’ core areas of aviation, construction, energy and shipping.  Robert is a registered practitioner at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and appears there frequently.  He is called to the Bar in Northern Ireland and as a Foreign Legal Consultant in the State of New York.  He is often asked to work on cases in the Caribbean arising out of contractual, commercial or chancery disputes.  Robert is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is a registered arbitrator at all of the large international arbitral institutions between London and Hong Kong.

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.