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8 February 1999
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2 May 2012
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10 July 1997
Roger Pearson reports on a row between hairdresser Nicky Clarke and hiswife, and a firm with shares in the couple's company.A legal battle in a complex shares row involving celebrity hairdresserNicky Clarke and his wife Lesley is back on course for the High Court afterbeing reinstated by the Court of Appeal.The action has been brought against the Clarkes and their companies,Southern Tropics and Kasmare, by North Holdings which holds shares inSouthern Tropics.North is seeking an order that the Clarkes purchase its Southern Tropicsshares at a price to be decided by the courts.The High Court struck out the claim in July last year on the basis that anoffer had been made by the Clarkes to buy the shares and that there was norealistic chance of a court order being made in those circumstances.However, the Appeal Court has now overturned that decision and has ruledthat the case should be allowed to be heard after all.Lord Justice Aldous said in his Appeal Court ruling that despite NickyClarke's popularity and high turnover at his Mount Street, London, salon,the business "has not in general made profits".But he said that the Clarkes' hair-care products side of the business is"very profitable".Accounts for the year ending 28 February last year showed a gross profitof u2.26m and an operating profit of nearly u1m.And, after paying a dividend of u400,000, there was a retained profit ofjust over u226,000.Out of that business, Clarke and his wife and two other employees werepaid about u313,000, said the judge.The judge said that North became involved with the Clarkes in 1990 when itloaned Southern Tropics u60,000 and as part of the deal obtained 350shares.However, Lord Justice Aldous said that by 1993, North was unhappy with theway Southern Tropics was being run and in 1997 launched the moves to forcethe Clarkes to buy the shares.He said North complained that, among other things, the Clarkes had failedto account for profits made from the development and sale of hair-careproducts and had challenged the use of Clarke's name in connection withhair-care products.North had also complained that the Clarkes had drawn "salary and benefits"in excess of their entitlements.Lord Justice Aldous said he considered that North's appeal should beallowed and the case should now be re-considered.No timetable has been set for this.
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