Ex-AMP lawyer to sue firm after unfair sacking

A former AMP lawyer who exposed the firm’s fee-for-no-service is suing AMP for $2.5 million for being unfairly sacked.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Larissa Baker Cook, alleged that she was subjected to "hostile, aggressive and intimidating behaviour by certain colleagues and superiors within AMP which amounted to harassment and bullying" in the lead-up to her termination in June.

Cook launched the lawsuit for past and future economic loss and would seek general and aggravated damages which a court would determine.

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The report said five months after joining AMP in November 2016, Cook became aware the firm had been charging customers fees-for-no-service and misrepresented to the corporate watchdog that it was an administrative error.

However, Cook alleged that in May 2017 she discovered that the fees-for-no-service might have been deliberate and told the then group executive of advice and New Zealand Jack Regan, ex-chief executive Craig Meller, and former AMP chair Catherine Brenner.

This led to the commissioning of the Clayton Utz report into fees-for-no-service.

During the Royal Commission, Cook alleged that her fresh complaints were dismissed and was increasingly excluded from management meetings she had previously routinely attended.

In May, 2019, Cook said she took part in confidential mediation where she outlined her grievances in a position paper, supported by confidential documents, that was supplied to parties involved without objection from AMP.

The mediation ultimately failed and Cook received a letter from AMP’s lawyers which stated the supporting documents might be legally privileged that she was not authorised to use them, and threatened disciplinary action including termination if she did not return the documents.

An external investigation followed this which demanded Cook not to communicate with AMP employees, stakeholders, or third parties including external law firms in relation to matters in discharge of her duties and to refrain from attending her workplace.

In June Cook was terminated for breaching her fiduciary duties, AMP’s IT policy after forwarding information to her person email, and her obligations as a lawyer employed by AMP not to use, disclose to other third parties AMP information that was subject to legal privilege which belonged to AMP.

Cook told the SMH her termination left her without income for five months and was unable to find work to pay her legal costs.

"The aggressive and intransigent approach taken by AMP has also taken a huge toll on me physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, I was left with no option but to commence proceedings against AMP to try to restore my reputation and obtain some compensation for the wrong they have done to me," she said.

AMP said Cook had presented a number of incorrect and unsupported opinions and allegations favourable to her and not provided the full context of those events. It noted that it would defend the case.A former AMP lawyer who exposed the firm’s fee-for-no-service is suing AMP for $2.5 million for being unfairly sacked.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Larissa Baker Cook, alleged that she was subjected to "hostile, aggressive and intimidating behaviour by certain colleagues and superiors within AMP which amounted to harassment and bullying" in the lead-up to her termination in June.

Cook launched the lawsuit for past and future economic loss and would seek general and aggravated damages which a court would determine.

The report said five months after joining AMP in November 2016, Cook became aware the firm had been charging customers fees-for-no-service and misrepresented to the corporate watchdog that it was an administrative error.

However, Cook alleged that in May 2017 she discovered that the fees-for-no-service might have been deliberate and told the then group executive of advice and New Zealand Jack Regan, ex-chief executive Craig Meller, and former AMP chair Catherine Brenner.

This led to the commissioning of the Clayton Utz report into fees-for-no-service.

During the Royal Commission, Cook alleged that her fresh complaints were dismissed and was increasingly excluded from management meetings she had previously routinely attended.

In May, 2019, Cook said she took part in confidential mediation where she outlined her grievances in a position paper, supported by confidential documents, that was supplied to parties involved without objection from AMP.

The mediation ultimately failed and Cook received a letter from AMP’s lawyers which stated the supporting documents might be legally privileged that she was not authorised to use them, and threatened disciplinary action including termination if she did not return the documents.

An external investigation followed this which demanded Cook not to communicate with AMP employees, stakeholders, or third parties including external law firms in relation to matters in discharge of her duties and to refrain from attending her workplace.

In June Cook was terminated for breaching her fiduciary duties, AMP’s IT policy after forwarding information to her person email, and her obligations as a lawyer employed by AMP not to use, disclose to other third parties AMP information that was subject to legal privilege which belonged to AMP.

Cook told the SMH her termination left her without income for five months and was unable to find work to pay her legal costs.

"The aggressive and intransigent approach taken by AMP has also taken a huge toll on me physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, I was left with no option but to commence proceedings against AMP to try to restore my reputation and obtain some compensation for the wrong they have done to me," she said.

AMP said Cook had presented a number of incorrect and unsupported opinions and allegations favourable to her and not provided the full context of those events. It noted that it would defend the case.




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AMP are engaged in the same actions now against their adviser network.
Intimidation, bullying and treats.
Unfortunately the advisers are shunned by the media, politicians and their associations when seeking support and strong advocacy.

a lawyer complaining of bullying and hostility...give me a break girlfriend.
You stole information from the employer who pays your bills...bit like a journo squealing when they steal national security documents...there are low level people at AMP that get trodden on all the time. Bet you never gave a thought for them. Aw lawyers, add so much to the world....

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