Norton Rose client Hellas withdraws claim after just five days in court
Norton Rose Fulbright client Hellas Telecommunications has withdrawn its claim against a raft of companies just four days into a five-week trial, The Lawyer has learned.
The Greek company had filed a claim – which was one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2018 – against 47 separate defendants who were represented by Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Kasowitz Benson Torres (KBT) and PCB Litigation.
Hellas Telecommunications had turned to Norton Rose Fulbright partner John Verrill who instructed Essex Court Chambers’ Joe Smouha QC, Ciaran Keller and Tom Ford, and Guildhall Chambers’ Stephen Davies QC.
The first to eighth defendants, which included $51 billion-valued private equity fund Apex Partners, were advised by Clifford Chance partner Jeremy Kosky and associate Claire Freeman. The magic circle lawyers instructed 4 Stone Buildings’ Robert Miles QC and Andrew de Mestre in the case.
The ninth to 42nd respondents, which included $75-billion valued private equity fund TPG Europe, were advised by KBT partner Paul O’Connor and PCB Litigation partner Trevor Mascarenhas who instructed Essex Court Chambers’ Richard Jacobs QC and David Peters.
Latham & Watkins Los Angeles-based partner Wayne Flick and associate Michael Reiss, and London-based partner Oliver Browne and associate Clare Nide advised the 43rd to 47th defendants, TCW and its associates.
The Hellas Telecoms claim related to a refinancing agreement in December 2006.
Its Greek parent company claimed it was forced into a deal leaving it insolvent during the financial crisis with a €1bn mountain (£900m) of debt. Its liquidators filed in the High Court, saying that Hellas Telecoms had entered into the agreement at an undervalue with its assets placed beyond the reach of its creditors.
The liquidators were seeking to recover €973m which was paid to the defendants for the refinancing process the company went through.
There was a similar claim in the US against Apax and TPG which was frozen pending the result of this case, though the status of the US proceedings is unknown.
It is understood that a costs hearing was heard in early March, though a judgement has yet to be handed down for this.
The legal line-up:
For the appellant, Hellas Telecommunications
Essex Court Chambers’ Joe Smouha QC, Ciaran Keller and Tom Ford, alongside Guildhall Chambers’ Stephen Davies QC, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright partner John Verrill
For the first to eighth respondents, Apax Partners and various other entities
4 Stone Buildings’ Robert Miles QC and Andrew de Mestre, instructed by Clifford Chance partner Jeremy Kosky and senior associate Claire Freeman
For the ninth to 42nd respondents, TPG Europe and various other entities
Essex Court Chambers’ Richard Jacobs QC and David Peters, instructed by Kasowitz Benson Torres partner Paul O’Connor and PCB Litigation partner Trevor Mascarenhas
For the 43rd to 47th respondents, namely TCW and its affiliates
Latham & Watkins London partner Oliver Browne and associate Clare Nida, and Los Angeles partner Wayne Flick and associate Michael Reiss
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