Asda is ready to
drag its former chief exec Allan Leighton through the courts in a last-ditch bid
to recover £600,000 it claims mistakenly paid in tax.
The windfall amount relates to the share options that the
chairman cashed in when he left the Wal-Mart-owned chain in 2000. Asda paid out
the multi-million pound dividend but failed to deduct the tax due.
‘The only reason we’re taking this to court is because the six-year time
limit to take court action and make a claim against him was drawing to an end,’
the supermarket chain stated in the
Financial Times. ‘We
simply can’t say goodbye to £600,000- the thousands of colleagues working in our
stores would expect us to do nothing less.’
Asda also made the same error in regards to other prominent executives, but
is believed to have resolved the other cases.
Leighton, who infamously coined the phrase ‘going plural’ in relation to how
best to manage numerous directorships, said in a statement: ‘Having received
from Asda’s lawyers in the last few days information we requested from them the
matter is now being considered by my lawyers to see what scope there is to
The claim was issued at the Chancery Division of the High Court in December,
but is yet to formally be served.
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