Kaye stuns former staff with pounds 1m writ

Tony Kaye has launched a pounds 1 million lawsuit against three of his former top managers, alleging breach of contract and misappropriation of funds.

Tony Kaye has launched a pounds 1 million lawsuit against three of

his former top managers, alleging breach of contract and

misappropriation of funds.



The writ was issued against David Wardlaw, Graham Collis and Stephen

Lepley, who all left the company this summer. It claims unauthorised

transfer of funds amounting to pounds 241,174; misuse of credit cards to

the value of pounds 430,000; and pounds 400,000 in unexplained

expenses.



However, Wardlaw, the former joint managing director with Collis, denied

the allegations. He said the trio would be issuing a counter claim

alleging breach of contract, as well as financial irregularities within

the Kaye empire. It would also relate to funds transferred by Kaye out

of K Features, a company jointly owned by Collis, Wardlaw and Kaye.



Wardlaw dismissed Kaye’s allegations as ’complete nonsense’. Turnover in

London had increased from pounds 4 million to pounds 6.8 million while

he was in charge, he said, adding: ’Kaye is just trying to be

vindictive.’



However, Trevor Asserson, the senior partner for litigation at Kaye’s

solicitors, Bird & Bird, alleged that the company had not been run

properly.



’Tens of thousands of pounds of cash had disappeared, which remains

unexplained.



That’s an unusual amount of money to remain unaccounted for,’ he

said.



This includes approximately pounds 10,000 spent in one night at a

hostess bar called the Blue Angel - an allegation Wardlaw denied,

claiming the money had been repaid.



There was also an amount spent on a hospital operation for a director’s

son, as well as unexplained travel items and money spent in local

grocery stores, Asserson said.



Wardlaw retorted: ’If these claims were legitimate, why haven’t they

detailed them in the lawsuit?’



But Asserson said: ’Some of this might be legitimate expenditure, but we

have gone through all the documents we can find and have been careful

not to include valid expenses.’



At the same time, Asserson said the company had a large number of unpaid

bills and a bad reputation with suppliers. ’There was a cash shortage in

the business and a crying need to meet bills.’



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