Former directors reach settlement in Cohn & Wolfe legal action

WPP-owned Cohn & Wolfe has dropped legal proceedings against a former healthcare director following an out-of-court settlement.

Settlement: Fiona McMillan and Jeremy Clark
Settlement: Fiona McMillan and Jeremy Clark

The prospect of an explosive courtroom battle loomed large earlier this year after C&W commenced proceedings against Fiona McMillan and another healthcare director, Rebecca Galbraith.

But this week it emerged that C&W had accepted an offer of contribution to costs from McMillan.

McMillan and Galbraith had been dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct, a month after they handed in their notices.

In the proceedings, C&W alleged that McMillan 'acted in breach of contract and fiduciary duty by misappropriating proprietary information belonging to Cohn & Wolfe and preparing to actively compete with the agency while sitting as a board director'.

In her statement, McMillan apologised for her actions, which she accepted were 'illjudged'. But despite admitting she had removed 'proprietary information', she denied she had opened or disseminated it to any third parties.

C&W CEO Fiona Noble said of the development: 'We are very satisfied with the results so far. We terminated their contracts for gross misconduct and Fiona's admission that she behaved in breach of contract shows that we were correct. We were prepared to go to court but we are pragmatic and reasonable.'

McMillan declined to comment. Her statement follows an apology made by another former healthcare business development director, Jeremy Clark, last week.

Clark also settled High Court proceedings commenced against him and is understood to have paid C&W £25,000.

Proceedings against Galbraith are continuing.

TIME LINE

20 April Fiona McMillan settles out of court and issues apology to C&W

16 April Jeremy Clark settles out of court and agrees to pay £25,000

21 January C&W announces plan for legal proceedings

13 January C&W dismisses McMillan and Galbraith

7 December McMillan starts six-month notice period

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