Solicitors sue former Mazars partner Hotston Moore

A HIGH-FLYING executive who is suing a leading accountancy firm for sex discrimination is on the receiving end of a claim herself.

Fiona Hotston Moore (pictured) is currently pursuing Mazars for more than £1m for sex discrimination and “hurt feelings”. She filed papers at an employment tribunal in November, claiming she was demoted because she hoped to become the senior partner for the UK.

Now her former solicitors Dawsons are suing her for more than £32,000, saying she has failed to pay invoices for legal services.

The firm stopped acting for her in October after accusing her of breaching an agreement by not paying its bills.

When asked by Accountancy Age to comment about the claim, Hotston Moore said: “There is an invoicing dispute, and as a result we decided to change our legal counsel.”

Dawsons acted for her between May and October this year, advising on her dispute with Mazars and sent her a detailed engagement letter setting out its fees according to a High Court claim.

Hotston Moore was a former regional managing partner at Mazars and claimed the UK senior partner David Evans had praised her months earlier, telling her he would promote her to a more senior board position.

But when he discovered she intended to stand for his job, the most senior in the firm, he withdrew his plan to promote her and said he could not work with her in a management role, it is alleged.

Hotston Moore, who is thought to have earned around £450,000 a year, was suspended in March 2010 but refused to resign and was sacked on 23 March. She took her grievances to an employment tribunal but the outcome, after a one day hearing, is not known. She and her two colleagues were also seeking £139,000 accusing the firm of allegedly withholding funds intended to cover their tax bills.

Dawsons said Hotston Moore was warned that an initial budget for legal services would be £5,000, and she was also sent a computer print out of costs on 21 June.

She was asked if there were any issues relating to costs, which had reached more than £16,000, but she asked the firm to carry on and act on her instructions, incurring more costs, the writ says.

By July, counsel’s fees and legal fees meant her bill had reached £21,870 but as a gesture of goodwill Dawsons only charged her £18,579.

Related reading

kevin-edwards rsm