Former Arsenal shareholder Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith has filed a professional negligence claim against Linklaters over errors during share sale.
Bracewell-Smith owned a 15.9% stake in Arsenal before selling to Kroenke Sport & Entertainment (KSE) in 2011.
According to a report in Legal Week, Bracewell-Smith filed a professional negligence claim in the High Court against legal firm Linklaters and accountants Deloitte on January 31st over their advice relating to her sale.
The report contains details of the claim.
In the claim, Bracewell-Smith alleges that Linklaters were negligent and in breach of their duty of care regarding advice they gave on loan notes she received in exchange for her stake.
She claims that she would not have sold her share in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke had the errors not occurred, and would have sold to Alisher Usmanov instead.
The claim goes on to state that Bracewell-Smith’s share sale would be “liable to capital gains tax (CGT) on a remittance basis in the event that the disposal took place in exchange for non-qualifying corporate bonds sited outside the UK”.
Legal Week report that the loan notes were registered within the UK, meaning that Bracewell-Smith would have to pay CGT on their full value as an English tax resident.
“Linklaters should not have settled the documents and advised the claimant [Bracewell-Smith] to sign them unless they were sure that the documents satisfied any and all requirements for the loan notes to be non-qualifying bonds sited outside the UK,” the claim stated.
Bracewell-Smith alleges that she was not properly informed of the error, with the document stating: “It is to be inferred that Linklaters and Deloitte deliberately chose not to inform the claimant of the true position and of their breaches of duty to her.”
The error resulted in Bracewell-Smith moving to Monaco to reduce her tax exposure.
She claims to have incurred losses of more than £10m as a result of the error, on top of moving costs of £1,249,815 and more than £400,000 in legal fees that would not have been required otherwise.
She is also claiming general damages for distress and inconvenience.