Clifford Chance’s lawsuit against SocGen can continue in London, court rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Clifford Chance’s lawsuit against Societe Generale over the law firm’s representation of the French lender in a dispute over a $483 million gold deal can continue in London, the High Court ruled on Friday.

Clifford Chance acted for Societe Generale between 2008 and 2017 after it sued Turkish jewellers Goldas Kuyumculuk Sanayi Ithalat Ihracat in London in relation to 15.725 metric tons of gold bullion.

Societe Generale’s case against Goldas was ultimately dismissed, prompting the bank to accuse Clifford Chance of negligence.

Clifford Chance applied to London’s High Court for a declaration that it was not liable to Societe Generale for any alleged negligence or breach of duty.

Societe Generale, however, argued that any dispute should be heard in France – where it has filed a 140 million-euro lawsuit against Clifford Chance, which is due to reach court next year.

Judge Andrew Henshaw rejected Societe Generale’s application in a written ruling on Friday, saying that the case should be heard in London.

“The dispute concerns whether or not an English firm of solicitors were negligent in their conduct of English law litigation in the English High Court,” the judge said.

Clifford Chance and Societe Generale declined to comment.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)