LIA Seeks to Outsource Goldman, SocGen Lawsuits Amid Conflict

The Libyan Investment Authority told a London judge it wants to appoint accounting firm BDO LLP to run its billion-dollar lawsuits against Societe Generale SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. amid a power struggle at the sovereign wealth fund.

“The situation is unfortunate and regrettable but we say it is manageable,” Ricky Diwan, an LIA lawyer said at a London court hearing in the Societe Generale case.

The two warring factions claiming control of the fund have agreed to appoint BDO as manager of the litigation and will seek court approval within a week, Diwan said.

Rival governments based in Tripoli and Tobruk are fighting for control of the north African state and its assets, including a $60 billion fund built up from oil profits. The LIA sued Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale, each for more than $1 billion, trying to recoup losses from investment deals.

The appointment of BDO is “not a solution, it’s a fix,” said Adrian Beltrami, a lawyer for Societe Generale, at the hearing. “We wish to know whether this is a problem which is capable of a real solution or not. It may affect the continuation of this litigation.”

Abdulmagid Breish, one of the men claiming leadership of the LIA, said in a statement that it was committed to continuing the claims. “I am confident that this proposal to appoint a receiver will be welcomed by everyone as a constructive way to advance the litigations.”

Last month, a lawyer representing one of the witnesses in the Societe Generale case told a London judge that the lawsuits were in a “state of chaos.”

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