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Giles Mooney secures settlement from Barclays Bank in diamond sale case

News | Fri 30th Jan, 2015

Giles Mooney successfully represented the Claimant, a Hatton Garden jeweller, in a claim for damages against Barclays Bank.

The claim arose from a transaction between the Claimant and a customer who approached the Claimant wishing to buy over £250,000 worth of diamonds. Payment for the diamonds was made by money transfers from an HSBC account to the jeweller’s account with Barclays Bank. On the day that the customer was due to receive the diamonds the Claimant telephoned his account manager at Barclays who assured him that the funds had cleared. Later the same day, before the Claimant had released the diamonds to the customer, Barclays returned the money to HSBC upon a request by HSBC who suspected fraud by its account holder, the customer. The Claimant was not informed that the money had been returned to HSBC until he received a letter a number of days later by which time he had released the first tranche of the diamonds (over £150,000 worth) to the customer. The customer then absconded with the diamonds.

The Claimant sought his losses from Barclays Bank alleging breach of contract and negligence. In particular, it was alleged that the bank had assumed a responsibility to the Claimant by virtue of providing an account manager who knew the nature of the Claimant’s business and was aware of the specific transaction in this case. It was pleaded that Barclay’s should have informed the Claimant as soon as they received the request from HSBC to return the money.

Despite having denied liability throughout and having served a detailed Defence, Barclays ultimately capitulated and paid the Claimant to the full extent of the losses and the costs of the litigation.

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