Court reverses Linklaters decision11th May 2010
Communications company Levicom has won a victory in its £37 million court battle with magic circle law firm Linklaters, with a judge reversing an earlier decision allowing the latter to avoid a multi-million pound fine for alleged negligence.
Sitting in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Jacob, Lord Justice Lloyd and Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said the damages due to Levicom should be reassessed, a decision that could cost Linklaters millions of pounds.
Lawyers initiated the case on the basis of advice the law firm gave Levicom in 2000 relating to a dispute with telecoms company Tele2 AB.
Mr Justice Andrew Smith ruled in 2004 that while the guidance was negligent, it had caused the telecoms firm no loss.
But Tuesday’s ruling rejected that finding, saying: “The judge should have approached the case on the basis that the evidential burden had shifted to Linklaters to prove that its advice was not causative. Such an approach would surely have led him to a different result.”