Elliott's case against LME to be heard in London during week of June 19

The offices where the London Metal Exchange is headquartered are seen in the City of London
The offices where the London Metal Exchange is headquartered are seen in the City of London, Britain, January 18, 2018 REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - A lawsuit bought by Elliott Associates and Jane Street Global Trading against the London Metal Exchange for cancelling nickel trades is expected to be heard in a London court during the week of June 19, two sources with knowledge told Reuters.

The exact date of the hearing is likely to be set on Friday, June 16. A court official said "nothing has been confirmed".

U.S.-based Elliott and Jane Street are demanding damages of $456.4 million and $15.34 million respectively, after the nickel price hit a record above $100,000 a tonne on March 8, last year prompting the LME to suspend nickel trading and void trades on that day.

They allege the LME acted unlawfully, breached its published policies, was disproportionate, favoured some market participants over others and violated their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights to the "peaceful enjoyment" of possessions, according to documents filed in July.

Piling further pressure on the LME are fresh lawsuits bought by hedge funds and asset managers, also for cancelling their nickel trades.

The LME, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388.HK), is resisting the claims, saying unprecedented market conditions caused a "disorderly" market and that it wanted to protect stability and avoid multiple defaults.

The nickel trading episode has been the biggest crisis to hit the world's oldest metals forum in decades.

The exchange is being investigated for potential misconduct by the Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and is struggling to restore trust and volumes in its nickel market.

The FCA said last week it had launched an "enforcement investigation" into the conduct and systems and controls that the LME had in place between Jan. 1 and the suspension of trade on March 8, 2022.

The last time the LME was sued was nearly a decade ago when Russian aluminium giant Rusal (RUAL.MM) sought to derail proposed LME reforms aimed at easing huge backlogs to withdraw metal from its global warehousing network.

The LME initially lost the case, but won an appeal allowing it to go forward and implement the reforms.

Reporting by Pratima Desai; additional reporting by Sam Tobin; editing by Christina Fincher

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