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Case Study: Breach of Contract and Breach of Fiduciary Duty

View profile for Richard Kerry
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Liz Tolmie and I have recently successfully acted in a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claim on behalf of our client against one of its former employees.

Our client is a company specialising in providing financial advice to British citizens living overseas. The defendant formerly worked for our client as a wealth manager/financial adviser.

Our client alleged that the defendant had forged clients’ signatures in order to gain commission on investments of their money, without proper authority. Those high-risk investments subsequently failed, resulting in our client having to compensate the clients.

Our client also alleged that the defendant had directed substantial commission, which ought to have gone to the claimant, into bank accounts which he controlled.

In 2022 we successfully obtained a freezing injunction against the defendant, preventing him accessing the bulk of his assets, as there was a significant risk he would seek to put his money beyond our client’s reach, if it was successful at trial.

At the recent trial our client was awarded in excess of £500,000, plus a significant contribution towards its costs.

Establishing the true value of our client’s claim was particularly difficult, as only the defendant knew how much commission he had ensured was paid to him, rather than our client. The defendant failed to give full disclosure of his financial documents, which almost certainly would have revealed the true extent of his unlawful behaviour.

Although the defendant’s defence was struck out, due to his failure to give full disclosure, proving the loss our client had suffered was not a straightforward task.

We were substantially assisted in the case by an expert forensic accountant’s report produced by Phil Southall of Ellacotts Accountants.