Martin Sorell in legal battle with former employer WPP over payout | Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell has referred to as in the legal professionals after his former employer WPP mentioned it was refusing to pay out tons of of hundreds of kilos in share awards, alleging he leaked confidential info to the media following his bitter departure from the promoting agency he based.

Sorrell resigned from WPP three years in the past following a public and acrimonious dispute with the company after an investigation into allegations of personal misconduct.

WPP, which warned on the time it might look to dam payouts to Sorrell, has now delivered on that risk, saying in its annual report printed on Thursday that it’s refusing to honour awards funds to its former chief govt.

“Awards granted to Sir Martin Sorrell, the former group chief executive, will lapse as a result of Sir Martin Sorrell’s disclosure of confidential information belonging to WPP and certain of its clients to the media during his tenure as a WPP director,” the company mentioned.

Sorrell described the company’s determination to withdraw the awards as a “petty” transfer pushed by anger. “It is a bit rich that they’re accusing me of leaks, given their own over the last three years,” mentioned Sorrell. “They’ve had to go back several years to try and find an excuse to deny me what’s mine. I’ve left it to my lawyers to deal with.”

Sorrell was due a fee of about £200,000 regarding WPP’s 2016 long-term incentive plan, which vests after 5 years and solely paid out at 5% of the utmost potential based mostly on the company’s efficiency. WPP has additionally cancelled a fee regarding the 2017 plan, which may very well be value greater than double the £200,000, however the precise quantity won’t be identified till the efficiency of the company this year is factored in.

Sorrell has acquired greater than £3m in payouts regarding share awards in the primary two years following his departure, for award schemes regarding company efficiency in 2014 and 2015. WPP solely inserted malus and clawback provisions that allow the company to halt payouts for schemes regarding 2016 and later.

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