How CountPlus took legal action against departing principals

Accountancy-based financial advice group, CountPlus initiated legal action against a number of people with whom it parted company last year over what it saw as breaches of their undertakings when they left the business.

What is more, the people who were legally pursued by the company paid to settle the matter – the amounts of which will become evident on the company’s balance sheet.

The company’s actions were revealed in a letter to shareholders which was released to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) which said that, during the last financial year, the firm had “commenced proceedings against certain former principals in relation to their post-employment restraints”.

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However, it seems that the legal action was actually settled before the issues went to court.

The ASX announcement stated: “These court proceedings were settled and CountPlus accepted settlement sums – some of which will be payable over the next reporting period – as appropriate amounts.”

“CountPlus takes matters of this nature extremely seriously and will act to protect our shareholders, member firms and clients and people,” the company said.

News of the hard-line legal approach against former principals came at the same time as CountPlus reported a 33 per cent increase in net profit to $2,956,000 with the board declaring a final dividend of one cent per share fully-franked.

Asked to comment on the litigation mounted against the former principals, CountPlus chief executive, Matthew Rowe, said it related to breaches of employment arrangements and non-solicitation.

“It was about calling out the wrong behaviour,” he said.

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