This week, Managing Partner and Head of Litigation Richard Spector looks at news that collapsed retailer Phones4u could be in line for a £120 million High Court payout despite falling into liquidation more than three years ago.
Administrators for the defunct firm will wage a legal battle against UK mobile operator EE, now owned by BT Group, over unpaid commission, according to the Telegraph.
Last week, the High Court waived a £200 million counterclaim by EE, paving a way for Phones4U’s claim to be heard before the court.
EE had argued that it had suffered heavy losses resulting from the mobile phone retailer’s collapse before the end of its supply contract.
In a statement, it said: “EE suffered substantial losses as a result of Phones 4u management choosing to cease to trade ahead of the expiry of our retail agreement, and are surprised and disappointed that this wasn’t recognised by the court. We will now consider next steps.”
The new claim is among the many administrators PwC have directed towards the telecoms sector. In 2016, it blamed the collapse of the firm on mobile operators O2, Vodafone, and EE for collusion after pulling out of contracts with Phones4U, meaning it was unable to pay its debts.
Private-equity owner BC Partners said the operators had behaved in a way “designed to inflict the maximum damage” on Phones4U.
A spokesperson for O2 said the firm “vigorously” denies the claims.
As of 2016 August 2016, administrators said creditors, including the holders of £430 million in secured bonds, are set to receive no more than 28p in the pound, with legal proceedings expected to go on for years to come.
About Richard Spector: Managing Partner Richard specialises in property transactions and commercial litigation. Richard has acted in a number of high-profile cases and was heavily involved in the litigation that arose from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Richard has been involved in a number of cross-border litigation cases and recently acted successfully for the Claimants in Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Anr v Wilkins Kennedy, listed in the Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2016.
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