Awards and citations:


1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for investdrinks.org

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award




Monday, 5 January 2015

Barry Gamble (The London Vines Ltd): judgment in default – £741,647.45



The London Vines Ltd 
Today I received a copy of the liquidator's progress report on the first 12 months of the liquidation of The London Vines Ltd, a 'wine investment' company, where the shareholders did rather better than their clients. The report was prepared by Alisdair Finlay, the liquidator and covers 31 October 2013 to 30 October 2014.   

It certainly made interesting reading.

The headline story is that Barry Michael Gamble has been hit with a judgment in default to pay £741,647.45 related to the misfeasance claim brought by the liquidator. Barry Gamble was the sole director of The London Vines Ltd from 26th January 2010 to 9th April 2013.

Further details here:
'Settlement re Misfeasance Claim
'Following analysis of the company bank statements for the period 1 February 2012 to the date of liquidation it was discovered that large sums of money had been paid to the shareholders and relatives of shareholders for which there were no records to substantiate the payments. Despite writing to each of the shareholders involved, none were able to provide satisfactory responses and as such I instructed solicitors to commence recovery proceedings. A claim was drafted against Barry Michael Gamble, Robert Scott Phillips, Amanda Sarah Gamble, Sylwia Phillips and David Phillips. A offer of £27,000 was made and accepted in respect of the claim against David Phillips in the sum of £33,776.

'A settlement has been reached with Robert Phillips and Sylwia Phillips that a payment of £90,000 will be made by 16.00hrs on 19 January 2015. This settlement has been agreed based upon the available equity in the matrimonial property. This settlement is in respect of claims mad against Robert Phillips in the sum of £152,802 and Sylwia Phillips in the sum of £123,294. 

'Barristers were instructed to give advice on the merits of obtaining an injunction against the assets of Barry Gamble. Searches on property websites showed that the matrimonial home was on the market for sale. Unfortunately no application for an injunction was made as Counsel weren't confident of success and an unsuccessful application could have resulted in a costs order against the liquidator for which he could have become personally liable.

'A judgment in default was obtained against Barry Gamble in the sum of £741,647.45. An application has been made to court to apply for a charging order against property held in the defendant names. We are still awaiting confirmation from the Court of Judgment in default against Amanda Gamble in the sum of £179,263.61. 

'Directors Loan Account 
'Robert Phillips has agreed by way of consent to repay a Directors loan of £35,926 over a period of 71 months payable by 71 monthly instalments of £500 and one final instalment and one final instalment of £426. As at the date covered by this report £1200 had been collected.'   

In relation to Robert Phillips, who was appointed sole director of The London Vines Ltd on 9th April 2013, the report details 'In addition due to a dispute between shareholders, the Director, Robert Phillips claimed that he was unable to access any of the client information from the computers held at the trading premises as the passwords had been changed by Barry Gamble.'
            

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jim,

As ever you perform a valuable public service by keeping an eye on these questionable wine selling organisations.

However, I think the story you have broken reveals something that has always worried me, which is that our insolvency law, frankly, is not well adapted to deal with circumstances of outright fraud or other cases where the business model might be described as lacking ethics or a true market presence, as it seems from the administrators concerns, may be the case in this example.

However, it is not the question of whether or not there have been wrongful practices in this particular case that I am concerned about so much as that our law of insolvency and indeed our company law seems so ill adapted to deal with these circumstances.

Our insolvency law is well adapted to rescuing companies that are genuinely trading and may have some residual value, but that this is at the price, in contrast to legal systems prevailing elsewhere in the world, particularly in continental Europe, of protecting creditors (though the 1855 story, which you have so assiduously covered, shows that all legal systems can fail to deliver adequate protection).

In cases such as this one, even though it seems that the administrators are doing their level best, we have to question whether the legal structures are appropriate.

Still, this may be wondering a little from the wider themes of your blog. Please keep up the good work,

Graham

Jim Budd said...

Thanks Graham. Definitely a relevant comment.

It is a pity that Counsel advised against seeking an injunction against Barry and Amanda Gamble to get the proceeds of the sale of their home at 6 Rowan Close, Banstead, which was sold on 16th September 2014 for £631,000. The house had been bought for £470,000 on 16th June 2009.

Jim Budd said...

Anon. Thank you for your comment. Could you please provide further details on Prep School etc. before your comment is posted. Thank you.