Who's Suing Whom: MoD contract lands Racal with pounds 1m aerial conflict

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ONE OF Britain's leading independent defence contractors is suing Racal for more than pounds 1m over a contract which the latter won from the Ministry of Defence late last year to supply a lightweight, portable, satellite communications system to the Army.

Easat Antennas of Stoke on Trent claims it had a firm agreement with Racal Radar Defence Systems to supply the antennas for the proposed system.

The claim includes pounds 25,141 Easat spent on designing and making a model antenna at Racal's request "which considerably impressed the Ministry of Defence and which was instrumental in Racal's success in winning the contract for the project," Easat claims.

Easat now wants an injunction to stop Racal from using the former's design for the antenna, as well as damages.

LEVI STRAUSS is continuing its assault on British retailers that are selling its jeans and other products which they have bought on the "grey market", at a discount to its own prices.

The American company is basing its claim on the argument that recent European Union legislation means that retailers cannot import trademarked goods into the European Union and then sell them below the makers' list price.

This week Levi Strauss is suing Labels for Less, a company based in Kings Heath, Birmingham, one of the traditional centres of the Midlands rag trade.

A CORPORATE advisory firm based in Jersey has fallen out with Bankers Trust over the sharing of fees earned from advising a Turkish mobile phone company on raising $575m (pounds 350m) in bank loans and a $225m bond issue.

Newmark Associates is suing the American investment bank over an agreement they made to supply advice to Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri.

The two firms were to advise the company on how to raise debt finance to buy a cellular mobile telecommunications licence in Turkey.

Newmark says that in a letter dated 8 October 1996, signed by Carl Tack on behalf of Bankers Trust and subsequently signed by Rahmi Sayder on behalf of Newmark, a deal was struck to pay Newmark 10 per cent of all the various fees earned from the Turks.

Newmark is now claiming that the money has been raised but none of its share of the fees has been paid over by Bankers Trust, and it wants damages plus costs.

A FIRM of independent financial advisers which went into liquidation after complaints by some clients of poor returns has launched what it claims is the first ever court case by a company against the Investors Compensation Scheme (ICS).

Knight Williams was an adviser with some 24,000 clients in the early 1990s. It started to receive complaints from some of its clients about underperformance of some of its equity products. The dissatisfied clients formed the Knight Williams Investor Action Group, which at one point claimed 400 members.

In 1994 the now-defunct regulatory authority Fimbra fined Knight Williams pounds 50,000 over record keeping.

By then the financial position of the group was worsening. In 1995 the group sold its investment management business, which had once had pounds 500m under management, and set aside pounds 1.95m to settle claims against it.

That same year the Securities and Investments Board (SIB) advised the company that the size of the claims was very great, and Knight Williams's accountants advised it to go into liquidation, which it did.

Subsequently more than 2,000 people contacted the ICS demanding compensation. So far the ICS has paid out around pounds 3.5m. The ICS is funded by the insurance industry.

Knight Williams is now demanding a Judicial Review of the ICS's payouts, saying that the ICS has paid out about three times as much as it should have. Knight Williams bases much of its case on the fact that the ICS decided in September to reopen the case of one client which had already been dealt with previously.

The Judicial Review is likely to have widespread consequences for regulation of the insurance industry.