A web developer is suing the founder of online fashion retailer Boohoo for £118.5m amid claims he reneged on a promise to reward him for creating the firm’s website.
Richard Womack has brought a claim against billionaire Mahmud Kamani for breach of an agreement.
He claims he was promised a 10% share in the Manchester-based company and was essentially Boohoo’s “third founder”.
A spokesman for Mr Kamani described the claim as “entirely without merit”.
He said Mr Womack had made “a number of different attempts to extract substantial sums of money from Mahmud Kamani” and the latest allegation was “entirely opportunistic”.
Solicitors acting for Mr Womack said he had spent two years developing the Boohoo website, choosing the company’s logo and deciding the “look and feel” of the site.
When the website launched at the Clothes Show Live in December 2006, the IT consultant also designed Boohoo’s stand and helped collect contact details of initial interested customers, JMW solicitors said.
Mr Womack says a meeting was held at the company’s office shortly afterwards, in which he was promised a 10% share in Boohoo.
But he claims the promise was never honoured and he has received “zero recognition” and not “a single penny” for two years of work.
Mr Womack said: “It’s very galling to have had zero recognition for the part I played.
“It’s just not right – particularly when, the reality is, Boohoo has three founders, not two. 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.”
JMW solicitors confirmed legal papers had been served to the High Court sitting in Manchester.
Mr Kamani’s spokesman said: “There is no evidence to support Womack’s claims because no offer of a stake in Boohoo was ever made to Womack.
“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.”
Revenues at Boohoo, which also owns the PrettyLittleThing fashion label, grew strongly in the last four months of 2018, jumping 44% to £328.2m.