Blog by Kalvin P Chapman
I joined Muldoon Britton on 7 July 2016. I was drawn to the “litigation only” aspect of the firm. I qualified in July 2012, and my first qualified role was dealing with Interest Rate Hedging Products. When I accepted my first role in March 2012 IRHP litigation was a litigator’s dream. It was a huge area, involved every major bank and involved fighting for SMEs that had, literally, been decimated by banks and the profit hunting of bankers in the Golden Age of Bank Profits. In June 2012 the FSA (as it then was) announced a review into the sale of IRHPs. So, my role immediately went from pure litigation to what would ultimately be a form of mediation with a minor side-line of litigation.
When I first spoke to Muldoon Britton’s Michael Muldoon the interest in me and my interest in Muldoon Britton was this aspect – litigating against banks. I love it and Michael Muldoon and Kara Britton both cut their teeth on bank litigation. It is a big aspect of our case load.
So, I joined the firm. I have been over-joyed at the many areas of litigation I get to work on at Muldoon Britton. We have settled some cases, have made some changes to the law in doing so, and we have some really interesting big fights on our hands. We have a fairly sizable IRHP claim that involves a partnership. The Courts have not yet directly made a decision on whether a partnership can sue under s. 138D Financial Services & Markets Act 2000, so this case will be of general importance and may set the law on this area. We have some LIBOR claims, some FX claims and we have a very large claim involving potentially up to 1,000 people against a developer that re-built a council estate in London. The dispute involves houses that are sub-standard and are making our clients and their families and children ill.
In addition to the normal role of being a solicitor, I also get to have fun with social media. Long gone are the days when solicitors had to be on the High Street to pick up passing trade because the Law Society, when it was the regulator, would not allow solicitors to advertise. These days Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn make lawyers accessible throughout the world regardless of their geographic position. I have had numerous US claims against UK based individuals and companies (which come to us from our New York office). I have a European case involving a client owed substantial sums of money looking to potentially go forward with a winding up petition against an English company that will now pay its invoices. I had a US based man who jointly owned a house with someone in London and wanted to be bought out of his ownership because they split up in 2011 and never got around to settling the property ownership.
On Twitter, I get to interact with the many people who work in this industry and, more importantly, the SMEs that are bringing, or wish to bring, these claims. I can use Twitter to communicate very complex legal disputes to people from around the world by linking to our website. I also create content for the website to ensure we have sufficient answers available that people will want to pick the telephone up and call us. In my previous role I had someone with a claim that involved almost £700 million of lending who emailed me because he had seen a single tweet by me linking to a website that discussed LIBOR litigation.
In addition to advertising us as a firm, the website, Twitter and LinkedIn can be used for us to communicate the latest decisions in cases of importance. For instance, Property Alliance Group v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc had a 182 page judgment handed down and we had tweets and LinkedIn posts about it within 15 minutes. 20 years ago, lawyers had to write articles for trade press and (if they were lucky) they might be interviewed by the media. Today we can communicate the outcome of cases to both interested potential clients and to journalists very quickly. I have been interviewed by The Times, The Financial Times, The Law Gazette, FT Advisor and numerous other newspapers.
Law in 2017 is very exciting, especially financial litigation. There are some very important IRHP, LIBOR and FX cases going through the Courts right now. I have discussed some of the IRHP cases HERE and HERE. There will be the Thornbridge appeal, another appeal that will look at IRHP claims and a Suremime claim heard at the Court of Appeal. PAG was decided in December 2016 and in April 2017 the Hockin v RBS case will go to trial.
The law changes every time a case is decided, and being at the cutting edge of law really makes for an interesting job. Fortunately, I work with people that are as excited by the law as I am and the challenges faced in Court, as well as having clients that are passionate about ensuring justice prevails, makes for a job that I really enjoy.
I made the decision a long time ago to become a lawyer. I made the decision to stay in litigation and have a specialism in financial claims in 2010. Both of those decisions bring me to where I am today, and I really could not be at a better firm. Muldoon Britton has helped shape the law and will continue to do so in 2017.
Whether I am dealing with a costs’ hearing on a litigated PPI case or working clients and counsel to get a hugely complex IRHP or LIBOR claim ready for court, I know that at the end of the week I will go home happy.
If you have any litigation needs, contact Muldoon Britton today. We have offices in New York, Manchester and Dublin. If it is litigation, then Muldoon Britton can help you.
Kalvin Chapman works in Muldoon Britton’s Manchester Office. 0161 826 6922.