Ex-Lehman Brothers Trader Settles Suit
LONDON (AP) _ A bond trader who accused Lehman Brothers of wrongfully dismissing him after he helped rescue it from losses suffered in Russia ended his lawsuit with an out-of-court settlement Monday.
Kerim Derhalli had tried to sue the investment bank for at least 10 million pounds ($16 million), saying it fired him and reneged on an agreement to pay him bonuses for his work recovering debts owed by Russia after that country’s financial crisis in 1998. His lawsuit was one of the biggest alleging wrongful dismissal in British legal history.
The two sides agreed to settle the dispute but did not disclose the terms.
``Kerim Derhalli has today withdrawn his claim. A mutually agreeable settlement has been reached, and both parties have expressed a desire to get back to work,″ they said in a joint statement issued on the ninth day of the hearing at London’s High Court.
Derhalli had worked as Lehman’s head of emerging markets for Europe and managing director and head of Eastern European sales, trading and research. His lawyers told the court earlier that he learned in February 2000 that his areas of responsibility were being limited solely to Russia.
``Your previous job doesn’t really exist,″ the lawyers said Derhalli had been told by his New York counterpart, Brian Zipp.
Derhalli alleged that Zipp warned him later not to dispute the changes in his job. ``’Frankly, I don’t want you around. ... If you don’t accept, I have no other job for you,‴ Zipp had told Derhalli, according to the lawyers.
Lehman contended the ``term sheet″ concerning a bonus for Derhalli’s work on Russian debt was not a legally binding contract. The bank said he was well paid for his work and was not owed additional money.
Derhalli works now as global head of commodities at Deutsche Bank.
Lehman Brothers had invested tens of millions of dollars in Russian government bonds before the Russian government’s near-default on foreign debts caused the ruble currency to plunge in value.