Ex-B&C chief gets pounds 1m redundancy


Financial Correspondent

John Gunn, the former chairman of British & Commonwealth, the financial group that crashed in 1990, has received a redundancy payment of pounds 1m from administrators Ernst & Young.

Around 40 other former B&C employees shared a pounds 3m payout from the administrators following the Paramount case in March. The Law Lords ruled that former employees of companies which collapsed between 1986 and 1994 and who had been kept on by receivers for more than 14 days were entitled to compensation in lieu of notice, pensions and holiday entitlements.

Mr Gunn and two other former B&C directors are still facing disqualification proceedings by the Department of Trade and Industry over the company's collapse. Mr Gunn led B&C on an ill-fated pounds 2bn spending spree in the 1980s.

Colin Bird, president of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency, the receivers' trade body, branded the Paramount ruling which allowed the pounds 1m payout a "fat cats' charter."

He said he was "saddened but not surprised" by the payment to Mr Gunn, and added: "I am not for one moment suggesting that Mr Gunn is a fat cat. But former employees who were earning around pounds 18,000 a year will receive little if anything under Paramount."

Mr Bird also said that the Government had ignored the chance to overrule the Paramount decision, and that receivers and creditors were now paying the price.

Other former directors of failed companies who have received big payouts include two directors of Olympia & York, the developer of Canary Wharf in London's Docklands, which went under three years ago.

Robert John, Gerald Rothman and Michael Dennis originally claimed a total of over pounds 17m from adminstrators Ernst & Young. The money is coming from Canary Wharf's present owners, a consortium of 11 banks led by Lloyds Bank.

Mr Bird said the unfairness of the Paramount ruling was driven home by the experience of his own firm, accountants Price Waterhouse, which handled the collapse of the Swan Hunter shipyard.

Just three directors of Swan Hunter have received around pounds 400,000 each from Price Waterhouse, under claims similar to Mr Gunn's. This totals more than has been paid to the whole of the rest of Swan Hunter'swork force of 2,000 under the Paramount decision.

Stephen Adamson, one of the co-administrators of B&C, refused to comment on Mr Gunn's payment. He did however say: "I'm very happy to appear and give positive support at Mr Gunn's DTI disqualification proceedings. John Gunn and the other B&C executives acted very properly with us during the administration."

Mr Gunn's lawyers Gouldens are seeking to have the disqualification proceedings thrown out.

Mr Gunn is currently working with a small merchant bank in the City called Midland Scottish Resources, which buys and sells assets on its own behalf and advises others how to do so.

Compensation claims against receivers

Claimant Company Amount

John Gunn British & Commonwealth pounds 1m

Basil Brookes Maxwell Communications pounds 300,000

3 directors Swan Hunter pounds 400,000 each

John Buchanan Sale Tilney pounds 800,000

Robert John Olympia & York lower pounds 000,000s

Gerald Rothman Olympia & York lower pounds 000,000s

Michael Dennis Olympia & York higher pounds 000,000s

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas