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Commercial Court gives first ruling in LIBOR test case


The Claimants operate care homes. In 2007/8, they refinanced with the Defendant, Barclays Bank, and entered into credit agreements for some £70M and related hedging transactions comprising a swap and a collar. These agreements were all referenced to the London Inter Bank Offered Rate ("LIBOR").

In April 2012, the Claimants issued proceedings seeking rescission and other remedies on the basis (inter alia) of complaints as to the fixing of Libor (which involved Barclays as one of the Libor panel banks) as well as the alleged mis-selling by Barclays of the derivatives.

Over the Summer of 2012, the outcome of several investigations into Libor fixing and Barclays' role in it were published: by the Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the US, and the FSA and Treasury Select Committee in England. The Claimants sought to amend their Libor claims to reflect such findings, including pleading a case in fraudulent misrepresentation and an Article 101 anti-competition claim. It was agreed that the Article 101 claims should be stayed pending the European Commission's investigation but Barclays opposed the other amendments to the LIBOR claim on the basis that they had no real prospect of success.

Following a one day hearing as to whether such amendments should be allowed, the Commercial Court (Mr Justice Flaux) held that the Claimants should be given the permission they sought. The case will now proceed to a CMC listed for 13 November 2012.

The judgment is here.

Tim Lord QC appeared for the Claimants, instructed by Cooke, Young & Keidan.