A businessman suing a legal firm and an advocate after being charged millions of pounds in fees has received a payment to settle his case.
Oil tycoon Robert Kidd took Levy & McRae and advocate Jonathan Brown to court in 2018 over their charges of around £6 million. The fees were declared illegal by a judge last year. Mr Kidd, who comes from Aberdeen, sued for £3m and the case has now been settled with an out-of-court payment.
Worst case of overbilling
Jim Diamond, an expert in legal costs hired by Mr Kidd to work on the case, previously described the fees charged as the worst case of over-billing he had seen in 35 years.
Mr Diamond said: “Mr Kidd is satisfied that the matter has now settled.”
Details of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Levy & McRae and Mr Brown had originally been hired by Mr Kidd in 2015 in a claim against a firm of solicitors who had acted for him in the sale of his share of an Aberdeen-based oil services company, ITS Tubular Solutions, to a US private equity firm.
Mr Kidd, who was once honoured as Grampian Industrialist of the Year, claims he had suffered financial losses as a result of advice the solicitors, Paull and Williams – which became Burness Paull in 2012 – gave him. A £19m settlement figure was paid to the Glasgow firm Levy & McRae, which passed it on to Mr Kidd minus its bill, which included £3m of “success fees” for winning the case.
Mr Kidd and his firm A&E Investments then launched a legal action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh against Levy & McRae, claiming it should not have charged him the success fees.
Bob Kidd founded the equipment rental firm in 1989 with $5,000 of savings. By 2008, ITS employed 1,000 people, but it went into administration in 2013.
When Mr Kidd settled his case against Burness Paull in 2018 it was hailed as a landmark victory.
He then continued his action, focusing on private equity group Lime Rock and Ledingham Chalmers. He was seeking $210million (£155million) damages for the lost value of his ITS shares.
But that case was dismissed by the Court of Session in January.