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Commercial Court awards “loss of a chance” damages for breach of exclusivity in connection with the Olympia exhibition centre

Commercial Litigation, Judgments

11 August 2022

Andrew Twigger QC, Thomas Munby QC and Duncan McCombe, instructed by Signature Litigation LLP, successfully represented the claimant, Bugsby Property LLC, in a four-week Commercial Court trial in Bugsby Property LLC v LGIM Commercial Lending Limited, Legal & General Assurance Society Limited [2022] EWHC 2001 (Comm). 

Bugsby had pursued the acquisition of the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington, when it was placed on the market by Capital & Counties plc in 2016.  The defendants, members of the Legal & General group, were considered as potential lenders.  As a pre-condition of receiving Bugsby’s confidential plans, they entered into a confidentiality and exclusivity agreement whereby they agreed not to deal with anybody else in relation to the acquisition of Olympia for a period of 18 months. 

Subsequently, Bugsby made a bid for Olympia involving a joint venture with the Chinese conglomerate, HNA, supported by debt finance from Goldman Sachs.  However, a rival bid from a consortium led by Yoo Capital Limited was eventually successful, with the support of lending provided by the L&G defendants in breach of their exclusivity agreement with Bugsby. 

L&G’s case was that their breach caused Bugsby no loss because (they said) Bugsby would not have been able to acquire Olympia in any event, the Yoo consortium’s bid would have succeeded even if L&G had not lent to it and, even if Bugsby had acquired Olympia, it would have made a substantial loss.

However, Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE accepted Bugsby’s case that causation was established on a “loss of a chance” basis. Assessing expert evidence in relation to various heads of loss, he awarded Bugsby just under £15 million in damages.    

To read the full judgment, please click here.

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