Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 27 October 2010 at 14:46:00

Robin Stevens, Fiona Hotston Moore and Stephen Bullock file a claim againstMazars totalling 139,000

Three former Mazarspartners have filed a claim against the firm for holding back part of theirremuneration.

Robin Stevens, Stephen Bullock and Fiona Hotston Moore filed the claimagainst the firm on 8 October for an estimated 139,000.

The trio allege Mazars withheld funds that were intended to cover their taxbills.

The three partners left the firm earlier this year and now work atCroweClark Whitehill (CCW).

The trio are overdue paying their tax liabilities and may incur penaltiesfrom HM Revenue & Customs.

A joint statement from Stevens, Hotston Moore and Bullock, said: "We do notbelieve that it is in the best interests of the profession if firms are able toappropriate the tax retentions of partners when they leave those firms.

"TheICAEWappears reluctant to intervene to protect the interests of members incircumstances such as these despite the inevitable hardship which enforcementaction by HMRC causes members and their families.

"We have therefore reluctantly taken this action because there is animportant principle at stake and having exhausted other avenues."

A statement from a Mazars spokeswoman said: "As a matter of policy, Mazarsmakes any payments due to former and existing partners promptly and properly.

"However, this matter relates to ongoing legal proceedings with theseindividuals and as such we are not prepared to comment any further at present."

Mazars have two more weeks to acknowledge the claim at court.

A statement from an ICAEW spokeswoman said: "This is a matter for Mazars andits former partners so it would not be appropriate for us to comment.

"However, if our members are experiencing financial difficulty, we have ourChartered Accountant's BenevolentAssociation which can help members in difficult circumstances."

Accountancy Age revealed earlier this year that Fiona Hotston Moorefiled a claim against Mazars at an East London employment tribunal for sexdiscrimination.

Further reading:

Mazarsfaces sexual discrimination claim from former partner

FormerE&Y partner joins Mazars

HorwathClark Whitehill takes Crowe name in rebrand