The Cheltenham office of international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys has been featured in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases for 2023. The list includes cases with the most significant sums in dispute, with proceedings set to be heard in court during 2023. The disputes involve high-profile parties or issues, as well as insolvencies that have caused a tumultuous fallout.
In this case, the joint liquidators of the BHS Group are seeking to recover £163m from the retailer’s former directors in one of 2023’s largest insolvency litigation set pieces. Charles Russell Speechlys is acting for the fourth respondent, Non-Executive Chairman Keith Smith. The team includes Partner Manoj Vaghela, Legal Director Claudine Morgan, Senior Associate Ben Moore and Trainee Solicitor Jack Sears.
The defendants are accused of wrongfully allowing the BHS Group to continue trading when they knew or should have concluded there was no reasonable prospect that insolvent liquidation could be avoided, in circumstances where external lawyers and accountants continued to advise the Group on its restructuring plans.
The High Court will be required to consider how far directors can delegate their duties and rely on external advisors when managing companies with complex management structures, among other things.
Manoj Vaghela, a Partner in the Cheltenham Litigation and Dispute Resolution team comments: “This case will be of interest to directors striving to keep businesses afloat in these difficult times and will hopefully provide guidance for all those who accept non-executive director roles in complex retail groups.”
Charles Russell Speechlys is also listed for a second high-profile case, which is being led by the firm’s London and Dubai offices. Stewart Hey, Partner and Head of the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice comments: “Our team are set to instruct on some of the largest and most high-profile cases in 2023 – this is excellent recognition of the quality of our work. Both cases showcase our ability to work nimbly across office locations and jurisdictions”.