Thursday, July 12, 2012

High Stakes Information Barriers (Ethical Walls) -- Clifford Chance + Libor

According to Reuters, the Libor case is creating significant work for lawyers. As LegalWeek reports, in some instances firms are representing multiple parties: "Clifford Chance takes on double Libor role for Barclays and RBS with Chinese wall" --
  • "Clifford Chance (CC) is advising both Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on the fallout from the Libor scandal, with a Chinese wall set up to avoid potential conflicts."
  • "CC’s role for Barclays has included advising the bank on its £59.5m settlement with the Financial Services Authority (FSA)... It is understood that the magic circle law firm is fielding a multi-disciplinary team including banking lawyers, litigators and white-collar crime specialists. Meanwhile, CC is also advising longstanding client RBS on Libor-related issues. One partner told Legal Week that the firm has been acting as defence counsel to RBS in relation to Libor-linked litigation – including several ongoing class actions in the US - for a number of months."
  • "In order to service both banks, the firm has adopted a so-called ‘Chinese wall’ to divide two completely separate teams working for their respective clients. Law firms are permitted to set up such information barriers within their offices to avoid a direct conflict, providing they have client consent."

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