Expertise in Foreign Exchange Trading

3 August 2022

In the case, The ECU Group Plc v HSBC Bank UK Plc & Ors [2021] EWHC 2875, Martello provided an independent expert witness, Richard Moore, appointed by the defendant, HSBC. Martello was first asked to be involved in 2018, and the case concluded at a hearing in Summer 2021.


ECU provided specialist multi-currency debt management services to clients who had borrowed under multi-currency loan facilities provided by a range of banks including HSBC’s UK private bank, HBPB. In the claim, ECU alleged that HSBC mishandled foreign exchange (FX) orders over a period of three years between 2004 and 2006. ECU alleged that certain HSBC entities had been responsible for manipulating the interbank spot FX rate, and that the HSBC parties’ FX traders engaged in widespread and systematic misconduct by ‘front-running’ client orders.


In its defence, the HSBC parties argued that the claims were limitation barred; that any alleged wrongdoing did not cause ECU or ECU’s clients any loss; and that no wrongdoing took place in any event.


Working alongside the legal team from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and One Essex Court, Richard, ex-Global Head of FX at Lloyds Bank, submitted an independent report and gave evidence over four days in the High Court. The expert work involved analysis of millions of lines of FX trading data, Bloomberg transcripts and research into the FX market movements and historic records over the relevant time period. A team of analysts, lead by Martello’s Head of Case Management Rachel Henderson, undertook significant data analysis to de-mystify the trading data and communicate the traders’ activity and market movements in a clear and impactful way. The analyst team worked closely with the legal team throughout the process to provide independent analysis and explanation regarding the FX issues.


After a seven-week trial, Mrs Justice Moulder handed down judgment in favour of the HSBC parties. Within the judgment, Mrs Justice Moulder complimented the Martello report. Notably, our expert Richard Moore was commended for the quality of his report, credibility and his “fair and measured” evidence. The judgment can be found here: