Group A merger hit by court ruling

Merger plans between Robson Rhodes and Pannell Kerr Forster suffered a setback this week, after the High Court imposed strict conditions that will require partners to be segregated in separate buildings.

Justice Laddie imposed strict terms on the merger of the mid-tier rivals following a case brought by a group of Lloyd’s Names concerned at the adequacy of Chinese Walls.

The Syndicate 190 Names Association had hired Robson Rhodes to act as expert witnesses in their case against former auditor PKF. The Names are suing over losses incurred in the Lloyd’s market. The Names’ case is one of a number resulting from spiralling losses at Lloyd’s during the late 1980s arising from disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil tanker crash ten years ago.

Robsons said it would comply with the ruling – which will prevent personnel involved in the case from attending joint meetings – and the merger would go ahead as planned.

The judge awarded costs to the Names and ruled Robsons was in breach of contract with them. The Names are pursuing their claim against PKF.

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