An IT consultant has claimed he “co-founded” Boohoo Group and lodged a £118.5m claim against the fast fashion etailer’s group executive chairman, Mahmud Kamani.
Richard Womack says he was promised a 10% stake in Boohoo Group in 2006 in return for his work in developing its ecommerce site, including its source codes and database.
The lawsuit, filed on his behalf by JMW Solicitors at the High Court in Manchester, also claims Womack was ”heavily involved” in the early management of Boohoo, including negotiating contracts, placing orders, developing concepts and running marketing campaigns.
Womack said: ”I’ve never received a single penny for my work on the Boohoo website and it’s just not right – particularly when, the reality is, Boohoo has three founders, not two [Kamani co-founded the site with Carol Kane]. We agreed that I would receive a 10% share in the company by way of remuneration for the work I did and that’s all I ask for – what was agreed.”
However, Boohoo has dismissed the claims as “entirely without merit”.
A spokeswoman for Boohoo said: “Richard Womack provided IT services to Boohoo in 2006. Womack confirmed that, upon payment of his final invoice, he would return domain names which he had registered for Boohoo and connected companies to them.
“Womack’s final invoice was paid but he failed to transfer the domain names as he had promised. Boohoo’s solicitors sent a letter of claim to Womack to require his transfer of these domain names, which Womack eventually complied with.”
She pointed out that this is not the first time that Womack has sought compensation from the fast fashion etailer, whose revenues soared 48% to £856.9m in the year to 28 February.
The spokeswoman added: “Womack has made a number of attempts to extract substantial sums of money from Mahmud Kamani. In 2014, after Boohoo’s IPO, Womack sent a number of letters by which he made demands for payments of millions of pounds from Mr Kamani. Boohoo’s lawyers responded to Womack to make it clear that those opportunistic demands would not be met. Womack did not pursue any legal claim at that time.
“Most recently, in February of this year, lawyers acting for Womack sent a letter before action, again seeking payment of millions of pounds from Mr Kamani. Pannone Corporate (representing Mr Kamani) has responded fully to Womack’s latest allegations.
“Womack’s allegations are entirely without merit. No monies are due and owing to Womack. Any claim which is formally served on Mr Kamani will be met with an application to strike it out.”