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LME Returns to Court Over $12 Billion Nickel Trading Fiasco

  • Elliott Investment Management is seeking to appeal a November court ruling that dismissed their claims against the LME for cancelling $12 billion in nickel trades.
  • The LME suspended nickel trading on March 8, 2022, following a sharp price rise, and later cancelled trades made that day.
  • The Court of Appeal is hearing the case this week, with a decision likely to have significant implications for the commodities market.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) is back in court this week as it seeks to defend against Elliott Investment Management’s application to appeal the nickel case.

Elliott Associates along with Elliott International issued judicial review proceedings against LME to challenging its decision to cancel $12bn of trades in ‘3M’ nickel futures on the morning of 8 March 2022 following sharp price rises.

In early March 2022, nickel prices rose very dramatically. At 08:15am on 8 March 2022, the LME suspended nickel trading, later publishing a notice cancelling all nickel trades entered into on that day before the suspension.

The parties affected included the Elliott parties who claimed that the cancellation caused them to lose net profits totalling about $456m, which would otherwise have been made on the nickel trades agreed by them between 00:00 on 8 March 2022 and the suspension at 08:15.

The parties went for a hearing at the High Court in June 2023, and last November, a judgment was handed down which dismissed the claims for judicial review.

Mr Justice Swift and Mr Justice Bright ruled that the claims “fail on all grounds”.

Trading firm Jane Street brought a $15m damages case, which was also thrown out.

However, the parties are back at a hearing at the Court of Appeal, as the Elliott parties aim to appeal this November decision.

The hearing is being held from Tuesday to Thursday at the civil division of the Court of Appeal. The case is being heard before Lord Justice Underhill, vice-president, Lord Justice Singh and Lord Justice Males.

The LME has a legal team from Hogan Lovells while the Elliott parties have a team from Akin Gump.

By CityAM

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