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Football stars fight on in action against Coutts
09/07/2018 , John Evans, International Editor

Lawyers representing four footballers are appealing against a judge’s decision to block a legal claim against Coutts and RBS after they lost money after investing in controversial real estate-based tax efficient schemes in Spain and Florida.

Former Sheffield United striker Brian Deane, 50, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, 41, former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage, 43, and former Blackburn winger Jason Wilcox, 46, won damages seven years ago ranging between about £800,000 and about £1 million after accusing an asset management firm of negligence.

But last week a judge blocked their follow-up bid to make claims against two banks which lent them money to buy apartments, following a High Court hearing. The four had argued that Coutts and the RBS Gibraltar were involved in a “joint enterprise” with their advisers and argued that bank bosses were also liable.

They claimed that the investment which was presented to them by their adviser, the now liquidated Formation Asset Management (formerly known as Kingsbridge Asset Management), was only made possible by an 85 percent interest only loan that Coutts supposedly helped broker.

The judge, Chief Master Matthew Marsh, had analysed evidence at a hearing in London in March. He ruled against the four former players in a written ruling just published.

The judge said they had not established “liability”.

Elbornes, the law firm representing the players, announced they would be seeking leave to appeal to a High Court judge. Elbornes said it wanted to point out that Master Marsh, in his judgement, ruled on technicalities of law and did not cast any doubt on the allegations of fraud that have been made

Their purchase of apartments in Spain totalled EUR 7 million, although no value has been published on their Florida real estate investments.

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