Lawyer denies knowledge of decision to buy shares

PUBLISHED: 09:30 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

A LAWYER accused of making nearly £25,000 in alleged stock market insider dealing says he received the cash from his father-in-law to help finance a new car. Christopher McQuoid, 40, of Aldouse Close, Fowlmere, denies a charge of insider dealing relating

A LAWYER accused of making nearly £25,000 in alleged stock market insider dealing says he received the cash from his father-in-law to help finance a new car.

Christopher McQuoid, 40, of Aldouse Close, Fowlmere, denies a charge of insider dealing relating to his time working as counsel for Melbourn-based firm TTP Communications in 2006.

It is alleged that Mr McQuoid tipped off his father-in-law, James Melbourne, 75, that TTP was about to be taken over by mobile phone giants Motorola.

Southwark Crown Court had been told that Mr Melbourne, of Broadway Lodge, Ripley, Derbyshire, bought shares in TTP for just over £20,000 two days before the takeover, then sold them at a profit of nearly £49,000, which he split with his son-in-law.

However, Mr McQuoid told the court that he had received the cash from Mr Melbourne because he needed it to pay for a new Lexus 4x4.

He said: "We are talking about a sum that was just £40 short of my car loan.

"The assumption was made that if this was going to be put towards anything it would be put towards the loan we had taken out in March to pay for the Lexus."

Asked if he had questioned where the money came from, Mr McQuoid said: "I didn't think as to where it had come from at all. I was not concerned. I was embarrassed."

He said the Melbournes were often "extremely generous", explaining: "We were married the year before, it was not a cheap wedding.

"They were very generous towards us. I would say they subsidised our wedding to the tune of around £25,000 or thereabouts."

He also denied any knowledge of Mr Melbourne telling him he was going to buy the shares, and said the first he heard about it was when the Financial Services Authority (FSA) began its investigation.

An email was sent around to all TTP employees, who were considered "insiders", containing a list of names of people who had bought the shares prior to the deal going public.

Mr McQuoid said he was shocked at seeing Mr Melbourne's name on the list.

"It was horrendous, at the time I knew full well the consequences and the eventual process that was about to be triggered," he said.

The FSA claims that Mr McQuoid had tipped off Mr Melbourne that the shares in the technology firm would rocket from 14.5p to 45p once the deal went ahead.

But in a taped interview with the FSA, Mr Melbourne said the decision to buy the shares was a "shot in the dark".

He said: "I knew nothing about the company whatsoever. I hadn't a clue. I still don't have a clue."

Mr Melbourne also denies a charge of insider dealing.

The case continues.

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