Lidl turns to Clarke Willmott on £6m property row

German retailer Lidl has instructed Clarke Willmott to defend a High Court lawsuit over claims it “exploited” a joint venture arrangement with a developer to secure a £6.5m site in Essex.

The claim is attempting to force Lidl to sell the land and split any profits. The purchase was part of a recent £220m investment by the discount retailer in expansion across the UK.

Generator Developments has turned to Stephenson Harwood on its claim the supermarket breached an agreement that would have seen it work with Lidl to develop the site.

The developer claims it was selected as the “preferred bidder” to buy the site at Wates Way in Brentwood in 2014, but let Lidl take over the purchase as part of the joint venture, which Lidl then abandoned.

Stephenson Harwood property litigation partner Andrew Myers has instructed Falcon Chambers’ Jonathan Gaunt QC and Adam Rosenthal on the Generator claim.

Clarke Willmott property litigation managing director Graham McIntyre has instructed Maitland Chambers’ Alan Johns QC for Lidl. Johns was made up to silk in the 2016 round of appointments.

The hearing will take place on Monday (18 January). A statement from Lidl read: “We are unable to provide any information at this time and await the outcome of the hearing.”

The legal line-up

For the claimant, Generator Developments

Falcon Chambers’ Jonathan Gaunt QC and Adam Rosenthal, instructed by Stephenson Harwood partner Andrew Myers

For the defendant, Lidl

Maitland Chambers’ Alan Johns QC, instructed by Clarke Willmott partner Graham McIntyre