Cohn & Wolfe set for court clash with former directors Fiona McMillan and Rebecca Galbraith

An explosive courtroom battle is set to take place between Cohn & Wolfe and two of its former healthcare directors.

Cohn & Wolfe CEO: Fiona Noble
Cohn & Wolfe CEO: Fiona Noble

The WPP agency is preparing to launch legal proceedings against Fiona McMillan and Rebecca Galbraith after the pair resigned last year.

The latest development comes after the two directors were dismissed last week on grounds of gross misconduct. The pair, who are understood to strongly deny any wrongdoing, were working out their six-month notice periods.

Cohn & Wolfe UK CEO Fiona Noble told PRWeek: 'We are taking legal action to obtain orders from the High Court requiring Fiona and Rebecca to act lawfully and in compliance with their Cohn & Wolfe employment contracts.'

Noble confirmed 'solicitors have been retained by all parties involved, letters before action have been sent to them and legal proceedings are being prepared'.

She added that clients and staff had been informed of the dismissals and a plan was in place to cover the pair's responsibilities.

Cohn & Wolfe saw a string of senior directors resign last year . At the time, Noble said the resignations were 'part of natural change in a company'.

Last week, Cohn & Wolfe appointed Anthony Moore as head of consumer. Moore joins from Incredibull Ideas, where he was a director. Cohn & Wolfe has also hired Ed Fleming as an associate director, focusing on home entertainment accounts. Fleming moves from Way To Blue. Both Moore and Fleming will join the agency next month.

WPP was previously involved in legal action against three former employees of WPP ad agency RKCR/Y&R. The employees settled out of court last year, coughing up £750,000 after WPP claimed they had broken the terms of their gardening leave.

CHANGES AT C&W

January 2010: Anthony Moore appointed as head of consumer. Ed Fleming hired as an associate director.

October 2009: Consumer director Rebecca Rhodes quits. Regional director for EMEA Mark Cater quits. Andrew Escott joins as a director of corporate affairs.

Summer 2009: Corporate director Paul Maguire and creative director Claire Mann leave with no roles lined up. Deputy MD Caroline Maddock resigns.

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