Stock saga continues as firm faces negligence writ

Millionaire record producer Mike Stock has hit back at accountants Simmons Gainsford in their long-running dispute involving a massive £2m tax bill.

Stock was saddled with the bill after the Inland Revenue launched an investigation into his tax affairs, and challenged the offshore arrangements that he and Matt Aitken had made.

His accountant at the time, Guy Rippon, had sued Stock for unpaid fees. Stock countersued, claiming negligence and of depriving him the chance of a better settlement with the taxman.

Simmons Gainsford was commissioned to act as an expert witness in the 2003 case, which Stock lost. The firm claims it has still not been paid its £69,473 bill from that occasion.

Now Stock is suing Simmons Gainsford for breach of contract and negligence. He claimed that the firm had failed to use the skill and care of reasonably competent chartered accountants.

Stock’s writ claims that the firm’s actions caused him losses of £460,000 in the court case, as well as the lost opportunity of avoiding costs after mediation of £432,000.

Stock and six of his companies have asked the High Court to set aside the contract with Simmons Gainsford, and to return the fees of £19,077 he paid. He is also seeking damages for breach of warranty, breach of contract, and negligence.

Stock was one of the ‘hit factory trio’ who produced Kylie Minogue’s I Should Be So Lucky.

Both cases involve Stock and his companies Mike Stock Productions, Modal Production Group, Mike Stock Publishing, Love This Songs, Stock & Aitken Productions, and Mike and Frances Stock as trustees of his retirement scheme.

Simmons Gainsford was unable to comment.

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