Michael Johnson, a high-flying IT professional who claims his life was ruined when he was falsely accused of fraud, has won the right to continue a £10m legal action against his former employer Perot Systems.
The company failed to convince a high court judge that Johnson's claim against Perot, which is accused of providing information used in a defamatory job reference, should be struck out on the grounds that it was unlikely to succeed.
Johnson's legal challenge has placed Perot at loggerheads with Zephon Employee Screening, an employment vetting service used by firms in the City of London, over its methods and the accuracy of its comments on Johnson.
In the latest twist to the court battle, a senior manager at Perot claims he was misled into disclosing details of Johnson's performance after being approached by an investigator from Zephon.
Perot claims that the investigator gave the impression that he was working with the police, when he was actually seeking information for an employee screening report for his client, Deutsche Bank.
Johnson claims that Zephon's report, which quoted allegations that he had been involved in fraud and questioned his technical performance, cost him his job at Deutsche Bank and damaged his future career prospects.
His problems began in late 1999, when he claims that Abbey National mistakenly issued a warning on the Credit Industry Fraud Advoidance scheme database, branding him and his wife as fraudsters.