Barclays Plc was sued in Singapore for failing to pay Pagoda Partners Pte Ltd S$365,000 (US$266,000) after Britain’s second-largest bank hired Timothy Last from Merrill Lynch & Co. on the recruitment firm’s recommendation.
Barclays was “unjustly enriched” by Pagoda after the headhunter sent the bank Last’s resume in January 2009 and wasn’t paid, according to documents filed with the Singapore High Court. A pre-trial hearing was held on April 19.
Last, Barclays Capital’s head of equity derivatives flow sales for Asia, excluding Japan, was hired as a direct referral after Pagoda failed to set up a meeting, Barclays’s lawyers from Straits Law LLC said in the court filing. “There was never any agreement for the engagement of Pagoda”, Barclays said.
“It would be very rare for a search firm to sue such a large bank as it would sour the relationship,” said Declan O’Sullivan, director at Kerry Consulting in Singapore, a finance industry recruitment firm.
“Big banking clients typically don’t skimp on the fees unless there was a misunderstanding and such matters are usually settled out of court.” Banks are hiring again as the specter of the financial collapse dissipates, he said.