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UK intervenes to resolve legal dispute between Kuwait Investment Fund and an ex-manager

July 20, 2022 at 1:22 pm

This picture taken on September 20, 2020 shows a Kuwaiti national flag flying from a mast in Kuwait City [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

The UK government has intervened to resolve a legal dispute between Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund and a former manager after a court ordered the fund to hand over “sensitive” documents, Bloomberg News reported.

The agency said the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has written to the Employment Appeal Tribunal saying that 20 staff members from the fund had diplomatic protection.

The lawsuit is brought by the ex-head of fixed income at the fund, Simon Hard, against the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) before a London employment tribunal for whistleblowing and age discrimination.

KIO subsequently filed a High Court case accusing Hard of blowing the fund’s budget by raising salaries and bonuses while a senior executive was away.

READ: Tony Blair pressured Kuwait to buy UK artillery as payback for Gulf War support, documents reveal

The Foreign Office letter to the court came weeks after KIO lost a crucial hearing in the case.

Saleh Al-Ateeqi, CEO of KIO, was among those on the list and was declared a financial attache of the Kuwait embassy and accorded diplomatic privileges.

Bloomberg added that the letter could now have implications for the employment suit going forward, explaining that “KIO is the oldest and one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, started out as a Bank of England account dedicated to receiving oil money in 1953.”