Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Fight with oligarch ends with last-minute settlement

The case was heard at the Employment Relations Authority this week, but the parties reached a last-minute settlement.
The case was heard at the Employment Relations Authority this week, but the parties reached a last-minute settlement.

A manager who fought a "David and Goliath" employment battle with Russian multimillionaire Mikhail Khimich says he spent $200,000 trying to clear his name.

Roger Mackereth was dismissed in 2012 after nearly 15 years working as chief financial officer at the Waiwera Resort and water-bottling operation. He filed a claim of unjustified dismissal, and says he was in turn accused of incompetence.

The case was heard at the Employment Relations Authority this week, but the parties reached a last-minute settlement.

Mackereth is gagged from speaking about the settlement or negotiations, but said he had to settle.

"I couldn't afford to fight any further."

The case cost him $200,000 in legal fees, and he faced another $250,000 bill to continue the action.

Mackereth helped build the water-bottling firm and resort with sailing identity John St Clair Brown.

In 2009, the Overseas Investment Office allowed Khimich, who has claimed close ties to the Kremlin, to buy 60 per cent of the firm for $1m. He bought the rest in 2010.

- Herald on Sunday

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