The acrimonious split between former Paragon MD Gordon Knight and
chairman Julia Thorn worsened this week as Knight threatened to take
legal action against the agency for breach of contract.
Knight, who helped found the company 15 years ago, quit Paragon last
year after a ‘disagreement over management style’ with Thorn (PR Week,
12 January). Although his formal notice period runs until November,
Knight left the company on 16 February.
His quarrel with Paragon and Thorn centres on arrangements for the
continued payment of salary and benefits during the remaining nine
months of his notice period.
As a long-term t employee, Knight’s contract guarantees monthly payments
until the notice period runs out in November, provided he does not
secure alternative employment or income from another source during that
Knight, however, argues that payments were abruptly terminated last
month. He also claims that Paragon is insisting he provides evidence of
his efforts to find a new job. Having instructed his lawyers to take
action, Knight says that a writ could be issued over the next few days.
‘I hope it won’t go to court,’ he said, ‘but I’m not prepared to be
beholden to the company for nine months on this basis. I do feel I’ve
been treated very badly by the company.’
Thorn refused to comment on Knight’s allegations, arguing that it was a
private matter between Paragon and a former employee.