Insurer issues High Court writ against Healthcare communications manager

Norwich Union (NU) Healthcare is suing its former corporate communications manager for over a quarter of a million pounds following allegations that he authorised fraudulent payments to companies run by him and his wife.

A High Court writ, filed by NU Healthcare’s solicitor, Berrymans Lace and Mawer, states that former communications manager Adrian Leaman, authorised the payment of fictitious invoices to two companies run with his wife.

The invoices amounted to more than £200,000.

The writ said that NU Healthcare is now suing Leaman for damages for breach of contract amounting to £227,000, for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, unjust enrichment, conspiracy and deceit.

A Norwich Union spokesman said: “We can confirm that we used to employ someone of that name and that the situation is subject to the legal process. We have no further comment to make.”

Leaman and his companies could not be reached for comment.

In the writ, Leaman is accused of issuing a fraudulent invoice of £14,746 last March, just two weeks after joining NU Healthcare, to One Four Corporate Communications – a company he had set up in 2004.

He is accused of then authorising payment of another 16 invoices to One Four, totalling £134, 267.

In the writ, NU Healthcare said it has no record of any goods or services supplied to its company and no member of staff is aware of any business relationship with One Four.

The writ added that in November and December of 2006, Leaman had authorised payment of seven more invoices totalling £92,825 to Farr Event Management, a company directed by his wife.

The writ said that NU Healthcare had again paid the invoices but then discovered the company had not supplied any goods or services.

The writ said that Leaman, who was responsible for external marketing of NU Healthcare’s corporate services, was authorised to approve payments of up to £15,000.

The writ said: “Farr Event Management and One Four acted together with Leaman to dishonestly assist him in fraudulently misappropriating assets, the court will hear.”

Court documents also allege that attempts to contact Farr Event have been unsuccessful and that NU Healthcare believes it

was merely a vehicle used to fraudulently misappropriate funds.

The writ said Leaman’s wife Sharon McFedries, who also uses the name Sharon Leaman, is the current sole director of Farr Event Management.

The court will hear that McFedries was the company secretary of One Four is listed as Sharon Jones, who gives the same date of birth as Sharon McFedries.