Former KPMG Partner Sues Herbert Smith Freehills

Former KPMG Partner Sues Herbert Smith Freehills

An ex-KPMG partner, who faced bankruptcy due to investments in French ski chalets, is taking legal action against Herbert Smith Freehills. He claims that the law firm’s disclosure of his debt issues to KPMG led to his job loss when seeking legal counsel in July 2017. Graham Martin, a former partner at KPMG Singapore, sought representation from Herbert Smith after lenders obtained a global freezing order against him and filed lawsuits for debts amounting to £3.26mn related to his chalet investments in Chamonix.

Martin lodged a £22mn lawsuit against Herbert Smith in the High Court in London for disclosing his bankruptcy risk to KPMG, a client of the firm, resulting in his termination from employment.

The firm said: “Mr Martin’s claim has no merit and the firm will defend it vigorously.”

Martin, an advisor specializing in restructuring at KPMG Singapore, sought the legal representation of John Corrie, a partner at Herbert Smith, to defend him in a High Court hearing concerning the freezing order.

The lawsuit claims that Martin informed Corrie that he preferred KPMG not to be informed about his financial status until he had finalized a settlement with Creditforce. However, on the very same day that Martin shared documents regarding his debts with Corrie, Corrie disclosed his client’s debt issues to KPMG’s London office and later informed them about the freezing order.

Martin’s legal claim outlines Herbert Smith’s stance as asserting that Corrie had Martin’s explicit consent to inform KPMG that the firm planned to represent him in relation to the debt matters, a claim which Martin refutes. It is important to note that Corrie is not listed as a defendant in this particular case.

Martin, who managed to reach an agreement with Creditforce during this timeframe, disclosed that he contemplated taking his own life subsequent to being stripped of his managerial responsibilities.

He asserts that he had no choice but to step down in February 2018, stating that he could have retained his position had he disclosed his financial circumstances to KPMG following a resolution with his lender. Consequently, he was declared bankrupt in June 2018. – June 11, 2024

Leave A Reply