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Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders given little hope in court case

Lord Grabiner QC, an expert in company law and shareholder actions, has poured cold water on the ongoing attempt by Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders to claim hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation through the US courts. Lord Grabiner QC was the man chosen by the government to represent them against Northern Rock shareholders who claimed that the Treasury acted in haste. The case was successfully defended and no compensation was paid out to Northern Rock shareholders although the Royal Bank of Scotland situation is very much different.

Central to the Royal Bank of Scotland shareholder argument is the strength or weakness of the company's balance sheet at the time of the significant rights issue last year. While shareholders were given the opportunity to buy shares, or let their entitlement lapse, many took up their shares and subsequently saw a substantial fall in their value. Interestingly the case is being brought by Cherie Blair in her capacity as a lawyer and she has been very vocal in the press in support of the case.

How ironic that the UK government is now being sued by a party which is represented by Tony Blair's wife with Tony Blair's former ally and enemy Gordon Brown on either side of the table!

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