CC caught up in Montanaro row

Clifford Chance has been drawn into a row between Montanaro Holdings and three of its company's ex-directors.

Montanaro is claiming that the law firm's company secretarial arm, Clifford Chance Secretaries Ltd, is responsible for an invalid board meeting.

The allegations come as three of the company's directors James Baker, James Cotton and David Shapiro who have now resigned, claim that Charles Montanaro and Roger Pinnington broke the 1985 Companies Act.

They say that Montanaro and Pinnington transferred 10,500 Montanaro shares 21 per cent of its equity into their own names at an unscheduled board meeting on 22 December. They claim that they were not informed about the unsheduled board meeting.

The three former directors have instructed Philip Rubens of Finers to act on their behalf. They are now considering taking action against the company. But Montanaro claims that it had already suspended two of the directors, Baker and Shapiro, before their resignations pending a disciplinary investigation.

The pair, who dispute the validity of the suspensions, are accused of not informing the board early enough of the breach of the Companies Act and of spreading rumours about the company in the marketplace.

Montanaro, which claims the meeting had occurred only due to professional advice and that it had nothing to gain from the transaction, has instructed Mishcon de Reya to handle its dispute with the directors.