The two-year legal battle between Towry and seven Raymond James advisers ended yesterday with the judge criticising Towry's "unreasonable" behaviour during the trial.
Central to Towry's case was the claim that the advisers had conspired with Raymond James to "poach" Towry's clients - a claim described by Mrs Justice Cox as "one of the most serious that can be brought before a court".
The advisers had worked for Edward Jones, which was acquired by Towry in 2009. They left their new employer shortly after the takeover, joining Raymond James in early 2010.
Towry's conspiracy claim meant the defendants, if found guilty, would have been equally liable for the potential £6m of damages claimed by Towry, despite one adviser, Tracey Simpson, having income of "considerably less than £50,000 per year."
"There was an obvious point where the claimant could have reassessed their case", said Raymond James barrister Chris Quinn - at the exchange of witness statements.
But Towry failed to drop the claim of conspiracy, the most serious charge levelled against the advisers.
Conspiracy requires proof of contact between parties, Justice Cox said, which could not be substantiated.
Criticising the decision to pursue the claim despite a lack of evidence, Cox added Towry was: "manifestly unreasonable, and increased pressure on the individuals beyond normal levels of stress and anxiety".
Towry's behaviour was cited by the judge as one of the main reasons for awarding the full £1.2m of legal costs to Raymond James - a decision usually sanctioned for "unreasonable behaviour" during a trial.
Towry also faces other costs. Quinn said he "wouldn't be surprised if the other side spent £2m" on the case, meaning the total hit on Towry could break £3m.
In her summing up, Justice Cox pointed to other failings during the trial. It emerged that Towry finance director Paul Wright had failed to read witness statements submitted by Raymond James advisers - an admission Justice Cox found "remarkable".
Towry has 21 days to pay the first half of Raymond James' costs. A request to extend the period was denied.
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