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Undisclosed damages to tycoon

Oil businessman settles case with law firm

An oil and gas entrepreneur has secured undisclosed damages from the law firm he claimed caused him significant losses.

Robert Kidd reached an out of court settlement in a £160 million action against Burness Paull over the handling of the sale of the oil and gas services company he established.

The final payout was not revealed. It is said to be a “small proportion” of the claim but is believed to be one of the biggest civil court settlements in UK legal history.

The agreement was revealed just before proceedings were due to begin at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr Kidd’s advocate Andrew Smith QC told Lord Tyre: “The case has now settled. The terms of the settlement are confidential. However, the sums involved are significant.”

Before its merger with Burness, Paull and Williamsons had acted for Mr Kidd in the sale of his share of ITS Tubular Solutions to American private equity firm Lime Rock Partners in 2009.

It later emerged that a lawyer from Paull and Williamsons, which merged to become Burness Paull in 2012, breached conflict of interest rules by also providing advice to Lime Rock Partners.

The case focussed on the circumstances surrounding the sale and subsequent failure of ITS, which went into administration almost five years ago before being sold to a rival.

Earlier this year Burness Paull was cleared of fraud in the case which has began more than two years ago.

Burness Paull said in a statement: “The dispute between Robert Kidd and Paull & Williamsons LLP arising out of historical events which occurred before its merger to form Burness Paull, has been resolved between the parties. The terms of the agreement are confidential. No further comment will be made concerning this matter.”


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