Two attorneys who worked at the London offices of U.S. law firms made illegal trades in NeuTec Pharma Ltd. after the company's financial director leaked information about a proposed takeover, prosecutors told a court Tuesday.

Andrew Rimmington, a former partner at Dorsey & Whitney, whose main office is in Minneapolis, Michael McFall, a former partner at McDermott Will & Emery, and NeuTec's former financial director Peter King are on trial in London for insider trading in a criminal case brought by Britain's Financial Services Authority.

Prosecutor Michael Bowes said the two lawyers made $60,000 each in June 2006 after King gave McFall an early warning about Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG's plan to purchase NeuTec. McFall gave the information to Rimmington, Bowes said. The men deny wrongdoing.

Bowes said a witness will testify that it was one of the most "illiquid" stocks on the market. It would be an "astounding coincidence" if the men had chosen the right time to trade without inside knowledge, Bowes said.

The men will present their defense later in the case, which is scheduled to last six weeks. The charges carry a sentence of as long as seven years in prison.