A&O defector ends Clayton Utz quarrel

A dispute between ­Australian firm Clayton Utz and former partner Grant Fuzi, who defected to Allen & Overy (A&O) in February 2010, was settled after Fuzi returned his retirement payment as a goodwill gesture, The Lawyer can reveal.

Fuzi was one of 14 ­Clayton Utz partners to join A&O when it launched in Australia last February.

Following the move, ­Clayton Utz pursued a claim against Fuzi and retained a QC to assist in the dispute resolution, alleging that Fuzi broke a agreement with his former firm by joining A&O.

The claim was understood to revolve around an A$700,000 (£460,100) retirement payment allegedly made to Fuzi on the condition that he would not join another firm.

In a statement, Clayton Utz chief executive Darryl McDonough said: “There are no matters outstanding between Clayton Utz and its former partners. Grant Fuzi returned a retirement payment which had been made to him when he left in 2009. That payment was made by Mr Fuzi and accepted by us as a gesture of goodwill.

“Clayton Utz acknowledged that the repayment by Mr Fuzi did not constitute an admission by him of liability or of any wrong-doing. Clayton Utz regrets that what was agreed to be a confidential settlement between Clayton Utz and a former partner has been made public.”