CD0 expert in demand to help defend banks in court

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The Independent Online

City investment banks are in talks with the star witness who helped Barclays win a landmark case on complex securities to help them with similar legal challenges. David Ellis, the managing director at FTI Consulting, gave evidence for the bank when it was alleged to have mis-sold collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) during the financial crisis.

A bank in San Marino, Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino, tried to sue Barclays over the CDOs, a widely-used financial instrument that was one of the main causes of the credit crunch, but the case was thrown out of the London courts earlier this month.

A number of Italian municipalities, including Milan and Florence, are considering cases against big investment banks over what they believe to be the mis-selling of similar derivatives.

Mr Ellis confirmed that a number of City banks had approached him to act as an expert witness should they also end up in court. He would not confirm the names of the banks, but it is known that Deutsche and JP Morgan are among those that face charges in a €1.7bn fraud case in Milan. He said: "I've been speaking to various banks. There are multiple [financial] default cases around the world."