U2 star sues accountant for over €10m in losses

U2 bass guitarist Adam Clayton has sued his former accountant, Gaby Smyth, for more than €10m losses, plus damages, as a result of several failed property and other investments, including in Ireland and Romania.

Among various claims in two sets of proceedings, Mr Clayton alleges he relied on Mr Smyth as his accountant between 2001 and 2010 and for financial and investment advice. Mr Smyth, negligently and in breach of duty, advised him to enter high-risk investments when the musician did not want to do so, he claims.

Mr Smyth, of Wyvern, Killiney, Co Dublin, denies negligence or acting as Mr Clayton’s financial and investment adviser as alleged. He says he acted as the musician’s personal accountant and tax agent and Mr Clayton’s former personal assistant, Carol Hawkins, prepared his financial reports.

He sometimes gave his opinion on investments either entered into or contemplated by Mr Clayton, Mr Smyth also says.

Mr Clayton also got advice from others, had a high appetite for risk, and made investments with no capital guarantee and with a risk of loss, Mr Smyth alleges.

Mr Clayton’s first case, initiated in 2011, involves a claim for €4.2m losses allegedly suffered by Mr Clayton after he, allegedly on the advice of Mr Smyth, invested in two funds.

In the second case, initiated in 2013, Mr Clayton claims Mr Smyth has a liability for some €5.37m losses after he invested in the Timisorara Partnership in Romania; for €1.05m losses arising from his 2008 investment in a European Hotel Consortium: and for some €270,000 arising from his investment in a pharmaceutical company. He also claimed damages on grounds including negligence and breach of contract.

In a pre-trial application, Mr Smyth wants the High Court to quash a decision of February 2014 allowing the continuing prosecution by Mr Clayton of the 2013 case.

The application has been adjourned to November.


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