Linklaters has reportedly paid up £13 million to settle a professional negligence claim brought against it by former client Levicom.

Baltic Telecoms company Levicom accused Links of overstating its chances of a court victory against rival Tele2 AB, back in 2001. Bolstered by the firm's advice, Levicom had fought on and claims it ended up settling on less favourable terms than it would have done if the advice had been more realistic, according to a report in the The Lawyer. And so it launched a £37 million professional negligence claim.

The wheels of law ground with their usual swiftness and the case came before Mr Justice Smith a mere eight years later. He found that Links had acted negligently, but this had led to no major loss for Levicom. Links was ordered to pay the princely sum of £5 in damages. As that would hardly cover a lukewarm glass of celebratory Cava, Levicom took its claim on to the Court of Appeal which over-turned Justice Smith and held that it was up to links Links to show that no major loss had been suffered. Settlement discussions followed and the parties agreed that £13m should cover things.

    Levicomm taking delivery of the settlement money yesterday

While this settlement will barely make a ripple financially - Links turned over £1.2 billion in 2010/11 and will be insured up to the eyeballs - it's still not the best publicity. As demonstrated by the firm as declined the opportunity to comment. And there could be worse to come. In February, the firm was hit with a £115m negligence claim from Credit Suisse in relation to advice it provided in the Parmalat deal in 2001. All in all, it seems 2001 wasn't Linklaters' greatest ever year.
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