I recently informed Scott Shaw of Armstrong Watson, the appointed liquidators of Whitehall Franchise Ltd by email of my status as a creditor of the company and also the status of on-going litigation.
Mr Nick Statman, as a director of the company had failed to inform the liquidators of the existence of either the debt or the litigation matters. Over a month on and still we have no answers to any of the points raised in my email below –
Further to our conversation last week, can you please register me as a creditor of Whitehall Franchise Ltd previously known as Gateway Homes Nationwide Franchise Ltd. My contact details are as follows –
E-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 07590014891
I attach a copy of invoice GH-1036, dated 19th March 2012 which remains unpaid and outstanding to this day as proof of creditor status. Obviously you will have to ask Mr Nick Statman as to why this was not listed in the accounts. It cannot have been an oversight as this is recent (13th August 2014) evidence in the High Court.
Due to the nature of the Franchise system operated by Whitehall Franchise Ltd I cannot understand why there are so few creditors listed as it is my belief that several franchisees are owed money. The nature of the franchise agreements is such that each franchisee invoices the franchise “holding company” Whitehall Franchise Ltd based on either house purchases made by Gateway Homes UK Ltd, Prop Buy Ltd, Tom Craven Properties Ltd and Speedy Properties Ltd thus giving the business a revenue stream – this can be confirmed by viewing a franchise contract (happy to supply) and XXXXXXXXX. Sources have told me, however, that franchisees are now invoicing each of Gateway Homes UK Ltd, Prop Buy Ltd, Tom Craven Properties Ltd and Speedy Properties Ltd directly – thus deliberately starving the franchise company of income which is a deliberate act to affect income and viability of Whitehall Franchise Ltd.
In addition the Franchise agreement names Gateway Homes UK Ltd as a beneficiary and in the eyes of the High Court case recently the assets of Gateway Homes UK Ltd are also those of Whitehall Franchise Ltd as they are in effect one and the same business – this should be extended to include the other Ltd companies mentioned here as they all operate in the same / similar manner with respect of the franchise system. Advertising debts of Whitehall Franchise Ltd e.g. HIBU or Yell.com are for the benefits of these other Ltd companies and therefore should have been cross-charged accordingly.
My belief is that this company has been deliberately trading whilst insolvent for quite a while and is being liquidated by the Directors and Shareholders out of convenience and since inception in 2009 potentially using dubious accounting procedures.
Mr Nick Statman and his father, ex-director Mr Malcolm Statman, have been in litigation with me in the High Court – initially at the Royal Courts of Justice in London since 1st March 2012 HQ12X00803, changed to 3BM90159 when transferred to Birmingham High Court in June 2013. This Claim was in the name of the company being liquidated and Gateway Homes UK Ltd as a secondary Claimant as Gateway Homes Nationwide Franchise Ltd had no assets and in order to attain a High Court gagging Order the assets of Gateway Homes UK Ltd had to be used to “underwrite” the case.
Mr Nick Statman and Mr Malcolm Statman personally have been in litigation with me in the High Court – initially at the Royal Courts of Justice in London since 2nd November 2012 HQ12X04536, changed to 3BM90158 when transferred to Birmingham High Court in June 2013.
Both these cases were defeated by me in April 2014, however liabilities for all parties exist today. For additional reading on the case refer to my blog http://stuartsblog.org/ and of course I have full records of all dates, hearings
The Claimants solicitors in both cases were Cohen Cramer, the barristers in question Mr Matthew Richardson of Henderson Chambers and Mr Adam Richardson (unknown what Chambers). You need to check through accounting records of both these companies i.e. Whitehall Franchise Ltd and Gateway Homes UK Ltd to check that legal fees have been proportioned correctly between the parties and also check that Claimants legal fees and court fees for Mr Nick Statman and Mr Malcolm Statman have been paid separately by them (including the VAT portions) as the latter case was for personal harassment and should not be paid for by any limited company. Invoicing and accountability for each case should have been done by Cohen Cramer.
The Claimants complained several times of legal costs in excess of £100,000 (before trial) and this figure is probably now in excess of £150,000 with my fees still to be paid by the Claimants. I entrust that you will look into the correct accounting procedures and allocation of these fees to the correct companies and individuals concerned and that HMRC VAT returns etc correctly reflect this.
Whilst examining the accounts of Whitehall Franchise Ltd may I draw to your attention to an additional matter of an Office of Fair Trading investigation into Gateway Homes UK Ltd between April 2013 and December 2013. Again Cohen Cramer were the solicitors involved – this had no impact on Whitehall Franchise Ltd and should not have carried any of the costs.
If I can be of any further assistance in understanding how the franchise business works/worked and what has deliberately changed by the directors then please contact me.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon – please acknowledge receipt of this email and its contents will be actioned.
Of course I shall keep you all informed as to progress and any answers that maybe forthcoming from the liquidators and / or Mr Nick Statman or Mr Malcolm Statman.