The Sunday Times
Published: 17 February 2013
Larry Mullen, the U2 drummer, has become the second member of the band to launch a legal action against Dublin accountant Gaby Smyth, who is already being sued for €4.8m by bassist Adam Clayton.
Clayton, who is suing Smyth and Bank of Ireland Private Banking for alleged negligence over the theft of cash by his former housekeeper, also filed a fresh High Court action last week. It named Smyth and two of his business partners, Jill Percival and Pat Cleary, as defendants. Clayton did not name the bank in his latest suit, while Mullen’s suit named only Smyth.
Smyth said he would “prefer not to talk about it” last week. Clayton and Mullen did not respond to queries put to U2’s representatives.
Clayton’s action against Smyth, a long-time associate of U2, stems from theft by his former housekeeper, Carol Hawkins. She was jailed in 2012 for seven years for embezzling €2.8m. Hawkins had used the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle and to buy an apartment in New York.
In his negligence case against Smyth and the bank, Clayton alleges that his financial advisers “missed” Hawkins’s actions. He is seeking €4.8m from Smyth and €4.4m from the bank.
Activity surrounding Clayton’s negligence has picked up in recent weeks with several new filings. There had been a lull after Hawkins’s criminal trial last summer.
The case is due back in court on April 24.
At a previous court hearing, Clayton said he was introduced to Smyth by Mullen in 2001. Mullen’s case is for breach of contract.