Linklaters and Deloitte are both trying to avoid blame in Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith’s lawsuit, relating to the sale of her 15.9 per cent stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke.
In 2011, Bracewell-Smith sold her shares to Kroenke, taking advice from Linklaters and Deloitte in the process. Now her lawyers argue that both firms failed to advise her properly, as she sited loan notes in the UK instead of abroad.
This left her liable to capital gains tax and forced her into a move to Monaco. She claims the whole situation cost her well over £10m.
City A.M. write that Linklaters have claimed they were not responsible for the tax aspects of the deal.
Meanwhile Deloitte claim they “did not actually know that the loan notes would be sited in the UK and did not have any duty to check. Linklaters knew or should have known … because they had been retained to advise her on the legal documentation relating to the sale of her shares.”
Crucially for Arsenal supporters, Bracewell-Smith argues that if she’d received better advice she may have sold to Alisher Usmanov or another purchaser.
That could have had a major effect on the course of the last few years for Arsenal.
If Usmanov had been in charge, or someone else entirely, the club may have changed manager last summer.
Thanks to Bracewell-Smith and her advisers, we’ll never know.