Bankers on trial Serious Fraud Office case to last for at least three months
Bramson’s attempted boardroom coup has emerged just as a high-profile trial of some of the bank’s former senior executives, including ex-boss John Varley and investment banking chief Roger Jenkins, got under way.
The longanticipated case brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is set to leave Barclays with a gigantic legal bill, even though the case is not against Barclays itself. The bank is understood to be footing the lawyers’ fees for the four executives, who have some of the country’s top barristers behind them.
The cast of lawyers includes Nicholas Purnell QC, who acted for Tesco’s ex-finance boss during the SFO’S case against former execs at the supermarket last year, John Kelsey-fry QC, who has previously defended English football manager Harry Redknapp, Ian Winter QC, who was also on the Tesco trial, and former senior Treasury counsel William Boyce QC.
The bill, which will include fees from elite firms such as DLA Piper and Herbert Smith Freehills, is expected to total tens of millions. The case should last for at least three months.
The four bankers face charges related to the bank’s bailout at the hands of the Qatari state at the height of the financial crisis. Mr Varley and Mr Jenkins have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud along with the former boss of the bank’s wealth arm Tom Kalaris and Richard Boath, who used to run one of Barclays’ European divisions.
The SFO lost an appeal to reinstate charges against the bank last year.
Barclays still faces a civil case over the Qatari fundraising, however, as a case brought by financier Amanda Staveley is due to start later this year. She is seeking more than £700m from the bank over the £5.8bn fundraising.