Collyer-Bristow in fraud fight

Collyer-Bristow is facing a High Court claim for its alleged involvement in a multimillion-pound fraud against Cable & Wireless (C&W) and subsidiary Pender Insurance.

The firm, with commercial partner John Bailey, has been added to a growing list of defendants in the case, which was launched last May.
It is alleged that Bailey was involved in breaches of fiduciary duty with five former employees of C&W and Peter Foulger, a director of Pender Insurance and Isle of Man-based insurer Willis.

The claimants say Bailey wrote “dishonest and deceitful” letters to C&W’s solicitors Allen & Overy about the shareholdings of four of the company’s former employees. Bailey is also accused of being a party to the bribing of Foulger by the employees.

Collyer-Bristow chief executive Jonathan Fox said: “We deny and will defend vigorously any liability in this case, which is being dealt with by our insurers.”

C&W, advised by Clifford Chance, and Pender, represented by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, are seeking damages from Bailey and his firm for, among other things, procuring or inducing breaches of employment contracts. They are also seeking an additional £100,000 from each defendant as well as interest and costs.