BURNESS Paull has vowed to “vigorously defend” a claim being brought against it by former Paull & Williamsons client Robert Kidd after being ordered by a judge to pay Mr Kidd £1 million in expenses.

Mr Kidd is suing the firm, which was created by the 2012 merger of Burness with Paull & Williamsons, over claims that he suffered financial losses as a result of advice given when he sold his stake in ITS Tubular Services in 2009.

While Mr Kidd had retained Paull & Williamsons to act on the sale, a partner from the firm also provided advice to the purchaser, which is a breach of conflict rules.

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A spokesperson for Burness Paull noted that the firm admitted this liability at an earlier court hearing, which is why the £1m costs order has now been made.

However, the firm disputes Mr Kidd’s claim that he went on to suffer financial loss as a result of the conflict and will defend his $210m action in the Court of Session in January.

“When it was ascertained that a former partner had acted in a conflict of interest in a historical matter, we immediately brought this to the attention of the court.

“As a consequence, an award of expenses was made against the firm in respect of part of the costs to that date,” the spokesperson said.

“We will continue vigorously to defend the action, which relates to events involving Paull & Williamsons, prior to its merger with Burness.”