Court of Appeal finds against banks in allowing amendments to pleadings based on LIBOR manipulations

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On 8 November 2013, the Court of Appeal handed down its much anticipated judgment in two related appeals, Graiseley Properties Limited and others -v- Barclays Bank Plc and Deutsche Bank and others -v- Unitech Global Limited and Unitech Limited [2013] EWCA Civ 1372. In this judgment, the Court of Appeal has upheld an earlier Commercial Court ruling and overturned another conflicting first instance decision, by holding that the claimants in interest rate swaps mis-selling litigation are entitled to amend their pleadings to include allegations relating to LIBOR manipulation.

In the two sets of proceedings, the claimants assert claims that Barclays Bank Plc and Deutsche Bank ("Banks") mis-sold interest rate swaps (containing rates referenced to LIBOR) to them on the basis that they were suitable products when they were not. As a result of the 2012 regulatory investigation into the distortion or manipulation of LIBOR by a number of banks, the claimants in both cases subsequently applied to amend their pleadings to include allegations that the Banks breached implied representations relating to the integrity of LIBOR. This resulted in conflicting first instance decisions, with one Commercial Court judge allowing the amendments and another refusing to permit them.

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