Two recent decisions in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal underline the significance of the Quincecare duty for financial institutions, a duty which hitherto has been given little judicial airtime. As previously reported, Jenner & Block’s London office recently secured victory for Singluaris Holdings when the Supreme Court affirmed Daiwa’s liability (for c.US$200 million) for breach of its Quincecare duty for facilitating the misappropriation of funds out of Singularis’ account. This was the first case in which damages have been awarded for a breach of the Quincecare duty. (“The Supreme Court Rules on the Quincecare Duty and Corporate Attribution,” Jenner & Block) In addition, the Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. The Federal Republic of Nigeria  EWCA Civ 1641, highlighting the difficulty financial institutions will face in excluding the application of the Quincecare duty. The Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the decision of the High Court in dismissing JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.’s (JPM) application for reverse summary judgment and / or strike out of the claim, holding that the Quincecare duty was not excluded by the express terms governing JPM’s depository agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN). Consequently, FRN’s claim for US$875,740,000 for breach of the Quincecare duty looks set to proceed to trial.
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