Exclusive – Ex-Touche man threatens writ

A former Touche Ross consultant is threatening to serve a writ on his former employer in a two year dispute over his departure from the firm and ownership of a contacts database.

Internal audit consultant Ken Goddard left Touche Ross Services at St Albans while he was facing trial for perjury. The firm claimed to have dismissed him for gross misconduct.

Goddard said the perjury charges, on which he was subsequently found not guilty, related to a dispute over a property he had acquired. Since his April 1997 acquittal, Goddard has maintained that Touche Ross Services, now Deloitte & Touche, unfairly dismissed him.

In addition to seeking a severance settlement from Deloittes, Goddard said the firm has continued to send marketing materials to contacts on a mailing list he brought to the firm when he helped set up its IT audit training wing in 1995.

Goddard presented a business plan to Touche Ross in 1995 that included a reference to his database of 5,000 contacts and said the firm acknowledged his rights to the ‘course material’ in its offer of employment.

But in letters seen by Accountancy Age, Deloitte & Touche partner Greg Comninos claimed the contacts data belonged to the firm.

Last week, Goddard said he would serve a writ on Deloittes UK senior partner John Rocques demanding the return of his contacts database from the firm.

To date, Goddard said the legal action had cost him more than #20,000. He said his outstanding claims for severance and losses arising from the disputed database amounted to around #30,000.

‘If the firm had not been so high-handed, we could have resolved this matter years ago,’ said Goddard. ‘If they want to give me #25,000, I’ll give them a laptop with the contacts. But they’d rather pay legal fees than give it to me.’

A Deloittes spokesman declined to comment on Goddard’s allegations, but added: ‘We have no knowledge of any writ against Deloitte & Touche or any named individual.’

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