Chappell To Pay At Least £50m Over BHS Collapse

Posted on Jun 26, 2024. by NTI

The High Court ruled yesterday (Tuesday 25 June) that Dominic Chappell must pay at least £50m to cover losses incurred by BHS prior to its collapse. The judge considered that Mr Chappell had sought to “plunder” the UK retailer.

Mr Chappell famously acquired the BHS chain from Sir Philip Green for £1, and is now liable for repayments demanded by the group’s Liquidators, FRP. Chappell was sued for wrongful trading, misfeasance, and a breach of his fiduciary duty as a director.

Mr Justice Leech stated that Chappell had no realistic plan to secure working capital when he acquired BHS, stating that Chappell took the chance to “plunder the BHS Group whenever possible”.

At the hearing on Tuesday, the judge declared that Chappell “should make the payments” outlined in a draft order. The order includes £21.5m for wrongful trading, £17.5m for breach of fiduciary duty, plus additional costs and interest, giving a total of at least £50m.

Chappell was also ordered to make a separate payment for a misfeasance claim, with the amount yet to be decided.

Chappell was a former racing driver, with no experience running a large retailer when he took over BHS. He and two other directors were sued by the Liquidators, accusing them of seeking personal financial gain, arguing that the department store chain should have stopped trading earlier in order to minimise the losses to creditors.

He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2020 for tax evasion.

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