18th July 2018


In a judgment handed down on 5 July 2018, two banks successfully applied to dismiss claims brought by four former professional footballers (Briane Deane; Danny Murphy; Robert Savage and Jason Wilcox). Adam Temple represented the banks.

In 2004, the claimants borrowed money which they invested in properties in Spain. They made these investments on the advice of their financial advisors, whom they accused of undue influence, breaches of trust and fiduciary duty, and fraudulent misrepresentations. Having obtained some damages from the insurers of their advisors, they argued that the banks were secondarily liable.

Chief Master Marsh stated that the claimants’ legal approach to the case was ‘akin to poking a long dead fire with a stick in the hope that it would re-light’ and concluded that the claim should be dismissed.

Firstly, the claimants pursued RBS on the basis that it had received an assignment of loans made to the footballers. As an assignee, RBS had no liability for the actions of third parties.

Secondly, the other claims were dismissed on the basis that:

  • A claim for ‘joint enterprise’ with the financial advisors was bound to fail and was unsustainable.
  • A claim based on agency was also flawed, as it was inconceivable based on the facts before the court that there was any relationship of agency.
  • A claim based on ‘notice’ was not based on solid legal foundations and was bound to fail.

Thirdly, the Chief Master considered that the claim was brought out of time. Attempts by the Claimants to rely on two cases from the 1970s failed.

To see the full judgment click here.

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