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Sir Keith Mills and Coutts settle AIG bond misselling claim


Sir Keith Mills is an entrepreneur responsible for developing the Air Miles loyalty programme and the Nectar card concept.  He is also Deputy Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.

In December 2007, on the basis of Coutts' advice, Sir Keith and his family trust ("Trust") invested approximately £73 million in the Enhanced Variable Rate Fund of the Premier Bond ("EVRF") issued by a UK subsidiary of AIG ("AIG").

On 15 September 2008, the day that Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, there was a run on the EVRF which led AIG to suspend all withdrawals from it. Thereafter, Sir Keith and the Trust transferred their investment to the Protected Recovery Fund ("PRF"), which was expected to mature on 1 July 2012.  By 1 July 2012, Sir Keith and the Trust had received repayment of all the sums they had invested in the EVRF.

Sir Keith and the Trust commenced a claim for damages against Coutts in the Chancery Division alleging that Coutts' advice to invest in the EVRF was negligent.  Shortly before the trial commenced, Coutts admitted the issue of liability and midway through the hearing to assess the quantum of damages the Trust and Coutts reached an agreement to settle the claim.

Simon Salzedo QC and Jasbir Dhillon (instructed by Clyde & Co LLP) represented Sir Keith and the Trust at the trial. Gerard Rothschild also acted for Sir Keith and the Trust prior to trial.