Decision likely on B&C Quadrex claim

BRITISH & Commonwealth's claim for damages of up to pounds 200m from Quadrex, the US securities firm, and Samuel Montagu, the Midland Bank subsidiary, should be decided today, writes Russell Hotten.

The action was brought by the administrators of B&C following Quadrex's failure to complete the purchase of two moneybrokers from B&C in 1988.

Mr Justice Gatehouse had already ruled that Quadrex and its financial advisers, Samuel Montagu, were liable to damages and today he is expected to set the level.

In 1991 Mr Justice Gatehouse ruled that Quadrex, run by Gary Klesch, was in breach of contract. The court also ruled that Ian McIntosh, then head of corporate finance at Samuel Montagu and now its deputy chairman, made negligent mis-statements.

During negotiations to buy the broking divisions, Mr McIntosh assured B&C that Quadrex had funds available to complete the purchase, which it did not.

Buchler Philips, administrator to B&C, had put in a damages claim for the full short-fall between what Quadrex was going to pay for the divisions, pounds 280m, and the price finally achieved when they were sold. The difference, including interest, amounted to more than pounds 200m.