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
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
However, Trevor Asserson, the senior partner for litigation at Kaye’s
solicitors, Bird & Bird, alleged that the company had not been run
’Tens of thousands of pounds of cash had disappeared, which remains
That’s an unusual amount of money to remain unaccounted for,’ he
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.’