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£160m claim against Burness Paull settles out of court

11 January 2018

A £160m claim against Burness Paull, the biggest sum ever sued for against a Scottish legal firm, has been settled out of court.

The firm was sued by Aberdeen businessman Robert Kidd over the actings of partners in legacy firm Paull & Williamsons. Mr Kidd instructed the firm in 2008 to act in the proposed sale of part of his shares in ITS Tubular Services (Holdings) Ltd to a US equity firm, Lime Rock Partners. It later emerged that while one Paull & Williamsons partner was advising him, another partner was secretly advising Lime Rock.

Mr Kidd alleged that he had lost millions of pounds due to this conduct.

The settlement was announced in the Court of Session, as it was due to begin hearing evidence on the claim over the next four weeks. Andrew Smith QC for Mr Smith told the court: "The terms of the settlement are confidential. However, the sums involved are significant."

It has been reported that the settlement figure was believed to be a small proportion of the claim.

A spokesperson for Burness Paull said: "The dispute between Robert Kidd and Paull & Williamsons LLP, arising out of historical events which occurred before its merger to form Burness Paull, has been resolved between the parties. The terms of the agreement are confidential. No further comment will be made concerning this matter."

At a previous hearing Mr Kidd was awarded an interim £1m payment of expenses following a finding in his favour regarding the costs of earlier proceedings in the case. (Click here for report.)



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