FSA launches first prosecution of GC

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has launched its first criminal prosecution for insider dealing, accusing the former general counsel at telecoms company TTP Communications of profiting from insider information.

Christopher McQuoid appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on a charge of insider dealing, along with his father-in-law James William Melbourne.

McQuoid is currently general counsel at textitle supplier Courtaulds Group, and was general counsel at TTP between 2000 and 2007. Before that he led the legal group at travel company Thomas Cook.

McQuoid and his father-in-law have been accused of buying 153,824 shares in TTP Communications after picking up insider information about Motorola’s cash offer for the company in the summer of 2006. They pleaded not guilty and were remanded on unconditional bail. The case has been adjourned until 19 February 2008.

McQuoid has instructed Jonathan Caplan QC at 5 Paper Buildings and Melbourne has instructed Annette Henry at 25 Bedford Row. The FSA is using its own in-house team, led by head of enforcement Margaret Cole, and has instructed Michael Bowes QC and Oliver Assersohn of Outer Temple Chambers.