PracticeAccounting FirmsFormer FD to sue for wrongful dismissal

Former FD to sue for wrongful dismissal

A former finance director and BDO Stoy Hayward partner is suing his former employer Old English Inns for wrongful dismissal, claiming 'stigma damages' for the harm done to his reputation.

Stuart Simpson said he had undeservedly acquired ‘a notorious professional reputation and a thoroughly unattractive employment record,’ after being dismissed by Old English Inns because he had blown the whistle on the company’s accounting policy.

He said shortly after joining the company, he told senior management at Old English Inns about his concerns over its accounting practices, saying they may lead to overstated accounts and an unachieveable budget for the following year.

But he added that when he resigned after being offered a cash inducement and asked to keep quiet, he was requested not to return to work.

Simpson said the profits warning the company issued one month later with an announcement of his resignation was ‘deliberately misleading,’ implying that he was responsible for the profits shortfall.

A spokesman for Greene King, which acquired Old English Inns in October of last year said: ‘As owner of Old English Inns, Greene King feels that it is right and proper that they should defend this case.’

He added that before pub operator Greene King acquired the company, it was aware of possible litigation but it did due diligence on Old English Inns and found it to be a high quality business.

Greene King said the allegations took place in 1999, well before the company took an interest in Old English Inns, and the management team that was in place then was different to the one Greene King had negotiated with.

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