Michael Woodford, the British businessman who was fired by Japanese electronics giant Olympus Corporation just two weeks after taking up the post, will this week begin a claim for unfair dismissal.
Mr Woodford was promoted from chief operating officer to chief executive in October 2011. However, he was removed just two weeks later, shortly before the company lost 75% of its share price.
The record losses in the Olympus share price were precipitated by suspicions surrounding payments made by the company during various corporate acquisitions dating back to the early 1990s.
Mr Woodford began to ask questions of the business after reading that some $600m was paid in a single transaction to a middleman on an acquisition worth $2.2bn. It later transpired that Olympus had routinely paid over market-value prices in a series of corporate acquisitions.
In December last year the company conceded that the overpayments were part of a network of fraudulent accounting practices dating back nearly 30 years designed to cover up substantial investment losses which Olympus had made previously. In February this year several executives were arrested as the Japanese police moved in to investigate the fraud.
Mr Woodford's case will be heard at an employment tribunal in East London. The first part of the case will be to determine if the UK courts have jurisdiction over the case. It is thought that Mr Woodford will sue for ten years' loss of income, estimated at £38m.
Although there is no limit on the amount of damages which can be awarded in unfair dismissal cases, Mr Woodford's lawyers will have to demonstrate that he cannot find work again as a result of the dismissal.
Legal commentators believe that the case is unlikely to reach court, expecting Olympus to settle out of court rather than have the details of the case aired in public.
Jo Keddie is a partner at Winckworth Sherwood.
"Two-thirds of such claims are settled or withdrawn before the tribunal makes a judgment," she told Thomson Reuters.
Whistleblower Michael Woodford sues Olympus for $60m (The Telegraph)