Baker to appeal against costs and reprimand

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The Independent Online
Ron Baker, Nick Leeson's boss before Barings collapsed, yesterday lodged an appeal against a disciplinary tribunal's decision to order him to pay pounds 7,500 in costs, and face a public reprimand over his conduct. The tribunal cleared him late last year of four out of five charges brought against him.

The Securities and Futures Authority, which is still bringing charges against Ian Hopkins and James Bax, two other former Barings executives, yesterday said it would not appeal the tribunal's decision.

The decisions by the SFA and Mr Baker were made just hours before yesterday's deadline for appealing.

Lindsay Hill, Mr Baker's lawyer at Fox Williams, said the appeal related to a narrow aspect of the tribunal's findings. "Mr Baker was reasonably content with what had gone before ... but he believes there are certain factual inaccuracies [in the judgment] and he would like to see them corrected."

These relate to the one charge in which the tribunal found against him, the supervision of the proprietary trading activities of Barings, which led to the reprimand and the order to pay costs.

In November, Mr Baker took the unusual step of publishing the result of the tribunal before the disciplinary process had run its full course.

The tribunal ruled in Mr Baker's favour on four of the five counts on which the SFA had built its case and allowed him to escape a ban from the regulator's registration lists, which would have barred him from working in the City.

Both he and the regulator had the right to appeal within 10 days of receiving the written judgment from the tribunal, headed by Judge Colin Kolbert.

The SFA now needs to appoint three judges to sit before an appeals tribunal and arrange a date for the case to be heard.

This will delay publication of the official charges brought against Mr Baker and also those faced by Mary Walz, another former Barings executive who has also escaped a ban from working in the City after reaching a settlement with the regulator.