28 June 2012

High-profile clash in the High Court

Source: This is Cornwall This is Cornwall Link

TWO high-profile businessmen look set for a High Court showdown over alleged debts of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Property developer Kevin Heaney, chairman of Truro City Football Club, has locked horns with high-profile lawyer Chris Lingard – who previously acted as his spokesman.

Mr Lingard is managing partner at Threemilestone-based legal firm Follett Stock and director of the company Tiger Commercial (Truro) Ltd, which landed Truro City with a claim for £645,000 in London's High Court this week – just as the football club saw off a tax demand for more than £50,000.

Mr Heaney, who has bankrolled the club's unprecedented success, said he disputed the claim.
It is thought the claim may stem from an agreement in June 2009 whereby Tiger Commercial (Truro) Ltd was licensed to use the Truro City name and 3,500-capacity ground at Treyew Road.

Mr Heaney said the claim for £645,000 from Tiger Commercial on Monday had come "out of the blue".

Mr Lingard was unavailable for comment on Monday and Tuesday. Truro City has experienced a series of financial setbacks this year and was in the High Court on Monday when lawyers for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs applied to have its winding-up petition, brought against the club over a tax debt believed to be in the region of £51,000, dismissed, almost certainly meaning it has been paid.

Lawyers representing four other companies applied to be "substituted" as petitioners in the case, claiming more than £700,000 of debts.

Registrar Derrett ordered that the company claiming the largest debt – Tiger Commercial (Truro) Ltd, which claims it is owed £645,000 – could take over the petition before adjourning the case.

Other alleged creditors named at a previous hearing include FBT Sports UK, which claims to be owed about £19,000, and Lexlaw Solicitors, which claims to be owed just under £1,400.

A fourth creditor, not named in court, claims to be owed more than £40,000.

In court Stephen Schaw Miller, representing Truro City, said each of the debts was "disputed" and would be opposed by the club.

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