UK life insurer Equitable Life has agreed to drop its court action against a sixth former employee as its attempts to gain compensation for the effects of previous mismanagement continues to unravel.

Equitable Life has reached settlement terms with Roy Ranson, former chief executive of the company, on the basis that Equitable discontinues its claim with each side paying its own costs. Mr Ranson becomes arguably the most important former employee that Equitable has decided to settle with as he was in charge of the business when the company’s problems regarding guaranteed annuities were set in motion.

The decision to settle with Mr Ranson is the latest in a series of recent agreements between the life assurer and former employees and associates. In an attempt to recover funds Equitable issued proceeding against 15 former directors arguing negligence and breach of duty, however the insurer has now settled with seven as is expected to seek terms with the remainder.

Furthermore, just weeks ago Equitable was forced into an embarrassing retreat as it dropped its multi billion pound claim against its former auditors Ernst & Young, a outcome that cost the company GBP30 million in legal fees.