Ex-Dechert partner to settle ‘spying’ claim against former client

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Neil Gerrard reportedly agrees compensation deal that leaves former firm on the hook for costs

A former partner in the London office of US giant Dechert has reportedly agreed to settle a legal action against a former client he had accused of being involved in spying on him.

Neil Gerrard and his wife will receive £22,500 but Dechert will be on the hook for costs possibly running to six figures, the Financial Times reports.

Gerrard has been in a bitter legal tussle for years with mining company ENRC, which he did work for while at DLA Piper and then Dechert.

The company is suing both him and Dechert for negligence over Gerrard’s role carrying out an investigation into alleged fraud within ENRC. A marathon High Court hearing in the case, which has also dragged in the Serious Fraud Office, took place between May and September this year. Judgment is awaited.

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Gerrard struck back by accusing ENRC of hiring corporate investigators to snoop on him and his family to gather information for its case against him.

His trespass and privacy case alleged that former intelligence officers planted cameras at his home and tried to spy on a family holiday in the Caribbean.

But the case is now poised to settle, subject to a judge’s sign-off. Documents circulated to the legal press reportedly show that Gerrard will receive £2,500 and his wife £20,000, but that ENRC and the corporate investigators are in line for a large contribution to their legal costs.

ENRC said: “We are pleased that the Gerrards’ hopeless claim has now been abandoned, although regrettably it has dragged on for two years with hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted by Dechert in funding Mr Gerrard’s campaign”.

A Dechert spokesperson declined to comment.

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