Trader Files Wrongful Dismissal Suit

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A senior trader has filed a $92 million lawsuit against a Canadian investment bank alleging he was forced out because the board and senior management resented his large salary and status as one of the bank's highest paid employees.

David Berry, the former head of preferred trading for Scotia Capital, the investment banking arm of Scotiabank, alleges he was wrongfully dismissed in June last year and is seeking lost wages and damages.

Berry has filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleging he was let go because senior management resented his status as one of the bank's highest paid employees and they were unsuccessful in forcing a reduction in his compensation.

He said in a statement: "I always acted in the best interests of the bank, and I was a loyal and conscientious employee. Regretfully, I have been forced to take this action to defend my reputation, call the bank to account for its behaviour, and recover what I am owed."

He had worked at the bank since 1995 and claims that when he was head of preferred trading the bank moved up from a loss-making enterprise ranked sixth in the preferred share market in Canada to the number one position, with Scotia controlling 62 percent of the market. He alleged the bank's net earnings from his trading over his last three years were approximately $200 million.

His compensation agreement was to receive 20 percent of the bank's net earnings in the preferred shares business and he was paid $13 million annually in his last three years of employment , allegedly significantly more than many of the bank's senior officers.

The suit alleges his wages became a source of personal jealousies and a sore spot for many in the bank, who wished to cut back his pay packet. He claims that when he refused to agree a reduced contract last year, the bank sought ways to terminate his employment.

The claim said: "Berry's termination was a result of blame-shifting, corporate self- interest or greed on the part of Scotia Capital, and its inadequate internal compliance, training and education procedures."

Berry said some of his trades are under investigation by the bank but no proceedings have commenced.

Scotiabank is required to file a statement in defense of the allegations within 30 days.

The bank was unavailable for comment.

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