The chief executive of Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, the international architect, has been criticised sharply by a High Court judge for failing to be truthful about the resignation of a fellow director.

Nicholas Thompson was a key witness in a claim by the AIM-listed firm against three companies that planned to transform Piccadilly’s famous Naval and Military Club into a five-star hotel and private members club.

When the redevelopments were put on hold on Christmas Eve 2007, the firm sued for £1.5m in unpaid fees from the three Jersey-registered companies that owned the development sites.

The companies countersued, citing professional negligence and claiming 'dishonest conduct' by AFR in concealing the resignation of Jeremy Blake, the firm’s star architect and a director of the company.

Mr Justice Coulson, in a written judgment this week, said that Mr Blake was 'at all times clear and patently honest'.

However, he condemned Thompson, saying that his witness statement contained details that 'even on his own evidence, were incorrect, misleading, inaccurate, unfair and, in at least one case, knowingly untrue'.

The Times