U2’s Adam Clayton Sues Accountant Gabby Smyth

A total of €10 million in losses is covered in two claims against the U2 bass player’s former accountant

The U2 bassist, Adam Clayton, is involved in a €10 million claim against his former accountant Gaby Smyth. The claim is in relation to losses suffered on a variety of investments in Ireland and Romania. The total claim also includes a figure for damages.

Gaby Smyth was Adam Clayton’s accountant between 2001 and 2010, according to documents filed in the court. During that period, it is said, he advised the U2 bass player on all of his financial dealings. According to the case which has been set out for the High Court in Dublin, Gaby Smyth “negligently and in breach of duty” advised Adam Clayton to enter high-risk investments, when the U2 man did not want to.

The High Court proceedings bring together two separate cases, one initiated in 2011 and the other in 2013. The first cast involves a claim for €4.2 million, relating to losses incurred by the U2 man, following investment in two funds allegedly on the advice of the accountant. €1.2 million was invested in Friends First Orion, a property company making investments in the UK and Northern Ireland; and €3 million was invested in Friends First Crystal which was developing property in Ireland.

The second case related to investments in the Timisoara Partnership in Romania, where €5.37 million of his money was lost. There were further losses sustained – €1.05 million from an investment in a European Hotel consortium in Belgium; and €270,000 from an investment in pharmaceutical company.

The charges are denied by Gaby Smyth, who says that he acted as Adam Clayton’s personal accountant and tax agent, but that he was not the U2 bassist’s financial adviser. While acknowledging that he did provide advise on investments, he says that Adam Clayton also received advise from others. He also says that Adam Clayton is a high net worth individual with extensive knowledge and experience of investments, including priority, shares, fine art and vintage cars.

In a pre-trial application, Gaby Smyth is seeking to have a decision made in February 2014 allowing the prosecution of the 2013 case to be quashed. The application has been adjourned until November.

Adam Clayton is currently on tour with U2, on the band’s Innocence and Experience tour. They play Köln (Cologne) in Germany on October 17 and 18, before undertaking a six night run in the O2 in London, from October 25 to November 3.


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