Barclays Lawyer Caught on Zoom Saying Staveley Was ‘Lying’

(Bloomberg) -- The difficulties with holding a live court case via Zoom landed Barclays Plc in hot water after a member of its legal team was heard to say that PCP Capital Partners Amanda Staveley was “obviously lying” while she was giving evidence.

Minutes after the proceedings ended Thursday in London, a lawyer at Simmons & Simmons, representing Barclays, said Staveley was “crashing and burning.” Her comments on a private Zoom call were piped into the court feed and then broadcast to anyone listening in.

Judge David Waksman said he “was very concerned with what has happened. The livestream should have been cut off,” he said.

The attorneys at Simmons & Simmons apologized to Staveley and to the court. “This should not have happened and is very regrettable,” a spokesman said.

PCP said in a statement that it is “confident in the strength of our claim against Barclays.”

The case is one of the first to be held in a courtroom since the Covid-19 pandemic led to the closure of the courts. A small number of attorneys are allowed to attend in person with the proceedings broadcast on the internet.

Modern technology threw another wrench into the proceedings Friday morning when a Barclays lawyer said that a BBC journalist tweeted a screenshot of the proceedings from Zoom. The reporter failed to notice the warning, however, that users agree not to take any unauthorized recording or screenshot of the trial.

The tweet was quickly deleted and the judge said he would consider cutting off the livestream if there were further problems.

“I have to ensure the integrity of the court process,” Waksman said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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