Barclays Gets $39 Million Bill Despite Winning Staveley Case

Barclays Plc’s will be made to foot its 27.9 million-pound ($39 million) legal bill, despite winning a court battle with financier Amanda Staveley.

Staveley, whose 660 million-pound lawsuit related to the financial crisis was thrown out last month, would normally have been ordered to pay Barclays’ legal fees. But the issue of costs was complicated because the judge found in her favor on several issues, including a finding that the bank was guilty of deceit.

“It might be said that Barclays has lost at least half of the case,” Judge David Waksman said.

Although “Barclays was the ultimate winner in a hard-fought case” where “the stakes were high financially and reputationally” for both sides, “in order to do overall justice to the case,” both parties must pay their own legal bills, he said in a ruling Thursday.

Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners had argued that Barclays should pay nearly 60% of its 19.5 million pounds in legal fees because of the deceit findings. Barclays asked the court to order PCP to pay a substantial amount of its 27.9 million pounds in costs, saying it won the case. With value-added tax included, Barclays’ costs came to 33.6 million pounds. PCP’s case is being backed by litigation funder Therium.

While Staveley was also denied permission to appeal February’s ruling, the judge said she can make an application to the Court of Appeal directly. She has five weeks to do so.

The trial transported the court back to the chaos of the financial crisis when Barclays’ officials sought a massive injection of private financing to stave off a government bailout. Staveley, who partnered with Abu Dhabi, said the bank promised the “same deal” but then lied about the fact that Qatari investors got far better terms.

Waksman said in his ruling last month that while bank officials misled Staveley, he dismissed her case because she wouldn’t have been able to raise the funds necessary to participate in the deal.

“I am grateful that the court has again recognized the significance of the deceit which was perpetrated on PCP and the “very large financial benefit” which Barclays obtained from its deceit, by ensuring that PCP does not pay Barclays’ legal costs,” Staveley said in an emailed statement.

Barclays declined to comment.

PCP’s lawyer Joe Smouha slammed the bank for using the trial to try to “damage” Staveley’s reputation. “It was truly horrendous,” he said at Thursday’s hearing.

One afternoon early on in the trial, Staveley broke down in tears after being cross-examined by Barclays’ lawyer. Smouha said that episode was “an exercise for the media” and done “to try to break Ms. Staveley.”

On Thursday, Barclays tried to distance itself from the ruling. Its lawyers said the findings of deceit were “narrow” and limited to Roger Jenkins, a former senior banker.

“A decision on costs must consider the panoply of attacks that PCP mounted, and lost, in these proceedings,” the bank’s lawyers said in written submissions.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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