Big Five – Goddard rejects Deloittes offer

Ken Goddard, the IT consultant pursuing a claim for wrongful dismissal against Deloitte & Touche, this week rejected an offer from the firm’s solicitors to settle the case.

After the case was adjourned at a hearing before the Mayor’s and City of London County Court in February, Goddard offered to drop his claim, hand over his laptop computer and contact database in return for a payment of #15,000.

Goddard’s solicitor Baron Grey received a counter offer on 26 March from Deloittes’ solicitor Taylor Walton, saying the firm would be prepared to discontinue the proceedings if each party agreed to drop all claims and bear their own costs.

The terms of the settlement would have been confidential, but Goddard said a statement would have been drafted and sent to Accountancy Age in response to the paper’s coverage of his claim. The deadline for his acceptance is tomorrow, 9 April.

But Goddard said: ‘The offer is totally unacceptable. ‘They want to me to settle for nothing – and keep my property (the contacts database).

And if it’s a confidential settlement, it should only involve two parties.

A confidential settlement involving the media is a pretty strange request.

If I was going to be subject to a gagging order, it would have to be in my interests to do so.’

Goddard brought his case against Deloittes in 1997 after the firm sacked him while he was awaiting trial on perjury charges. He was subsequently acquitted.

A spokesman for Deloittes said the firm’s solicitor had not received any letters from Goddard’s solicitor and until it did: ‘We have been advised to say nothing. We’re pushing ahead with our court case.’

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