A UK lawyer who headed an enquiry into allegations of wrongdoing at Monaco-based company Unaoil is suing the Serious Fraud Office, claiming unfair dismissal.

Tom Martin, a senior case controller at the agency, was fired for ‘gross misconduct’ in December last year for allegedly swearing at an FBI agent while on a visit to a public house following drinking in the bar of the US Embassy in London. The incident dates to May 2016, but it took almost two and a half years for the firing to happen.

Mr Martin said his behaviour at the pub “was not such as would justify the termination of his employment.” He said that the decision to fire him was unfair and unreasonable. In his claim, he added that “strong language was commonly used by criminal lawyers and partner agencies and that operatives of the US Department of Justice used very robust language: in essence it was part of the culture”.

SFO lawyer takes own agency to courtMr Martin was in charge of the SFO’s long-running investigation of Unaoil until September last year, which has yet to come to court.

PHOTO: The US Embassy in London at the time of the incident