UK Firm Fined Over Undisclosed TPLF Ties, "Unlawful" Fee Agreement, in Failed Billion Dollar Lawsuit

December 04, 2017

U.K. law firm Clifford Chance and one of its partners have been fined £100,000 for an “unlawful and unenforceable” fee agreement in a failed $1.6 billion lawsuit against U.S. energy companies, reports Law360.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s announcement stems from a 2010 suit against Texas Keystone Inc. and Gulf Keystone over an oil production deal. Litigation funders invested nearly $40 million in the case that was dismissed after a judge called it “replete with defects, illogicalities and inherent improbabilities.” A Clifford Chance partner failed to disclose his ties to one of the funders, which the judge said formed “an acute conflict of interest.” 

An appeals court later backed the decision after it uncovered a contingency fee arrangement that would have awarded Clifford Chance 140 percent of the usual fees if the plaintiffs had won.

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