Trio dismissed after employer discovered they were planning to move to Sinclair Knight Mertz

It emerged this week that Euan McEwan, the chief executive of quantity surveyor Currie & Brown, sacked three directors after discovering they were planning a move to rival Sinclair Knight Mertz.

Bill Booker, Myles Cameron and Ian McCallum have now joined Australian consultant SKM, which recently tabled an unsuccessful bid for Currie & Brown.

A senior source said McEwan became aware that the three men were talking to SKM last year after an “email went astray”.

Building understands that at least one of the men had shares in Currie & Brown at the time of the SKM bid last month but had no connection with the attempted takeover.

A source close to the men said: “They want it made clear that they have nothing whatsoever to do with SKM’s bid for Currie & Brown.

The source said: “The three guys were unhappy with the direction that McEwan, as the new man in, was taking the company.

But that’s what happens when new management comes in – you have to follow their lead or ship out. McEwan was very angry, however, about the way they went about leaving.”

The source added that SKM advised the three men not to take the case to an employment tribunal. He said: “SKM didn’t want the situation to become messy in public as the three directors didn’t lose any money and the rewards from attempting to correct the situation were felt not to be worth it, given the attention it would have attracted.”

A spokesman for Currie & Brown said he would not comment on staff departures. Cameron refused to comment. Booker and McCallum were out of the country and unavailable for comment at the time Building went to press. SKM refused to comment.