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25th August 2020, 18:50

Former GFSC CEO settles out of court & withdraws claim at Employment Tribunal

The former CEO of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has reached an out-of-court settlement, withdrawing a claim against the Government, the GFSC and the Minister for Financial Services at the Employment Tribunal.

Samantha Barrass was replaced as CEO at the Commission by Kerry Blight on 1st October 2019, despite having nearly a year left before her contract was due to end.

In answer to GBC questions, she confirmed that there had been a financial settlement although she said the details were confidential.

Kerry Blight’s appointment as the Commission's new CEO was announced by Minister Albert Isola last September, even though Samantha Barrass had earlier on insisted that she fully intended staying on as CEO until her contract ended in August this year.

The date the claim was registered at the Employment Tribunal isn't known as there's no public register, however GBC has obtained a copy of the judgement dated 3rd June 2020.

It says the proceedings have now been dismissed following withdrawal of the claim, with each party bearing their own costs.

Ms Barrass caused some controversy during her five years as the Commission’s CEO when she accepted a non-executive role on the Board of PWC's UK Public Interest Body.

She is also facing a libel lawsuit, along with her former Legal Director Peter Taylor and the FSC itself, filed by local lawyer Nick Cruz. He is claiming defamation following media statements made by the Commission after the collapse of Enterprise Insurance, the firm where Mr Cruz was a non-executive chairman.

Ms Barrass is now leading a Business Banking Resolution Service in the UK - an independent service funded by the banking industry, aimed at resolving disputes between eligible small and medium sized businesses and participating banks. She is joined there by Peter Taylor.

GBC has asked the Government whether a financial settlement was reached with Miss Barrass. Number Six limited itself to saying “There is no outstanding legal dispute or claim between the parties mentioned”.

GBC also reached out to the former FSC CEO, who confirmed that there had been a settlement, but said the terms of this was confidential.

She stressed her time in Gibraltar was a happy and treasured period for her and her family, adding she has taken with her many fond memories of good friends and valued colleagues.

She wished the Government, the Minister for Financial Services and the GFSC well.