BSGR said in a statement this morning that FTI and its EMEA chairman Malloch-Brown had ‘conceded defeat’ by settling the legal action brought against them in April this year, but a spokesman for FTI said the case had been settled for €90,000 ‘without any admission of liability’.
BSGR said that the damages would be donated to ‘charities and good causes working in Guinea’.
The dispute centred on the reasons for FTI resigning its contract as PR adviser to the group, owned by Israeli diamond mining magnate Beny Steinmetz, over ‘conflict issues’ in November 2012.
BSGR claimed that FTI had been put under pressure to resign the account by Malloch-Brown, and that he was, himself, under significant pressure to take action against BSGR from George Soros, a strong critic of BSGR’s activities in Guinea.
The mining group claimed that Malloch-Brown and FTI had been ‘involved in a conspiracy against BSGR’, after documents obtained through a Data Protection Act request of FTI showed that Lord Malloch-Brown was corresponding with people in Soros' offices about BSGR and its interests.
The group said: ‘BSGR remains shocked by Lord Malloch-Brown’s conduct and condemns his collusion with George Soros and the manner in which he treated his company's client.
‘It is appalled that a figure of Malloch-Brown’s international standing and global reputation would pass information about clients to hostile third parties.’
However, FTI Consulting said that ‘at no point was client information passed to third parties’ and denied that the settlement amounted to conceding defeat in any way.
A statement on behalf of the pair read: ‘Both FTI Consulting and Lord Malloch-Brown have always vigorously denied the claims brought against them in their entirety as baseless and without any merit. Indeed, FTI Consulting and Lord Malloch-Brown applied to have the claims against them struck out.’
The statement added that the €90,000 settlement was considered to be ‘less than what FTI Consulting and Lord Malloch-Brown would have incurred in irrecoverable costs by pursuing the strike out applications’.
BSGR’s writ alleged that FTI was guilty of breach of contract, while Malloch-Brown was accused of breach of tortious duty of confidence and defamation. Both were also accused of conspiracy to withhold disclosure of a conflict of interest from BSGR.
Lord Malloch-Brown was UN deputy secretary general under Kofi Annan in 2006 and joined Gordon Brown’s government in 2007 as minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.