Judge calls BCCI case a ‘farce’

Deloitte’s £850m lawsuit brought against the Bank of England over the
collapse of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1991 has been
called a ‘farce’ by the judge who presided over the marathon case.

Lawyers for Deloitte had alleged that the BoE knowingly failed to protect
depositors from the world’s biggest bank fraud after BCCI collapsed with debts
of more than £5.6bn.

Deloitte, liquidator of the bank, finally dropped the case after almost two
years in court and 12 years of litigation with the BoE now seeking about £81.5m,
including £8m in interest payments.

Judge Stephen Tomlinson, who presided over the case and supports the Bank’s
claims, said in his judgement: ‘It is difficult to think of a case in which the
entitlement to indemnity costs could more clearly be made out.’

Tomlinson voiced his concerns about the case to Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief
Justice at the time, telling him the case was a ‘farce’ and that he feared ‘it
had the capacity to damage the legal system’.

But he said he could not persuade the Deloitte legal team of the ‘folly of
their enterprise’.

Deloitte said it undertook the litigation in good faith in the interests of
BCCI creditors and based on legal advice, adding that it was disappointed by the
way the judge had characterized the conduct of the case.

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