Judges Side With Highland Against RBS, Junk £19M Judgment

Apr 15 2013 | 10:18am ET

A British court has thrown out a £19 million judgment against Highland Capital Management in the hedge fund's battle with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

The London appeals court found that RBS had won the money "by the fraud of RBS through the misstatement and concealment of facts." The three-judge panel also rejected RBS' bid to block Highland's fraud lawsuit against the bank, filed in Texas.

A British judge in 2010 awarded RBS the money to cover the value of loans in a collapsed collateralized debt obligation. But last year the same judge rejected an earlier RBS bid for an injunction against the Texas lawsuit, accusing the bank of "deception" and accepting Highland's argument that the CDO auction had been a "sham."

Highland has alleged that RBS improperly terminated the CDO and seized the assets in 2008, alleging that RBS trader Sam Griffiths had defrauded it. The appeals court concurred, ruling that Griffiths, who has since been fired by RBS, "had lied."

"This judgment validates Highland's position that no financial institution, regardless of size, it above the law," Highland said.

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