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Société Générale has settled its mammoth dispute with the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), agreeing to pay €963m (£815m).
The LIA, represented by Enyo Law, had been seeking $2.1bn in compensation following recission of a series of trades it entered into between 2007 and 2009.
The case was due to have gone to trial last month, having been adjourned by SocGen’s lawyers Herbert Smith Freehills at the end of last year.
Today SocGen announced it had signed an agreement with the LIA to resolve all matters concerning five financial transactions entered into between 2007 and 2009.
In a statement, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) client SocGen said it “wishes to place on record its regret about the lack of caution of some of its employees.
“SocGen apologises to the LIA and hopes that the challenges faced at this difficult time in Libya’s development are soon overcome.”
It is expected that the UK court will be notified of the settlement this morning allowing it to put an end to the proceedings.
The LIA had claimed that SocGen and Libyan businessman Walid Giahmi had channelled millions of pounds to individuals linked to the Gaddafi regime in Libya before it was overthrown in 2011.
The LIA was set up to invest Libya’s oil wealth in the mid-2000s following the freeing up of around $60bn of the country’s oil money.
HSF has been leading for SocGen throughout the case, while Enyo partners Simon Twigden and Edward Allen were on hand for LIA.
The litigation boutique had walked away from the LIA temporarily in 2015 when a receivership was appointed to quell an issue over who was the fund’s chairman. However, Enyo returned to handle the case, which has proven to be one of the firm’s most high-profile matters.
The claims against SocGen were one of two cases brought by the LIA.
In another case, the LIA argued Goldman Sachs executives had also pocketed fees and convinced LIA officials to take on derivatives trades they did not understand. However, this was thrown out by the High Court last October after Mrs Justice Rose found the relationship did not go beyond the “normal cordial” relationship that grows up between a bank and client.
In the Goldman Sachs matter, the LIA had been seeking $1.2bn in compensation.
The legal lineup:
For the claimant, the LIA
Brick Court Chambers’ Mark Howard QC and Roger Masefield instructed by Enyo Law partner Simon Twigden
For the defendant, SocGen
3 Verulum Buildings’ Adrian Beltrami QC, Nathaniel Bird and Emmanuel Sheppard, and One Essex Court’s Sandy Phipps QC and Anthony de Garr Robinson QC instructed by HSF partner Rupert Lewis
For the defendant, Walid Giahmi
Maitland Chambers’ Paul Girolami QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya partners Kathryn Garbett and Claire Broadbelt
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