Follett Stock winding-up petition adjourned

A winding-up petition hearing involving Truro firm Follett Stock has been adjourned for three weeks following an initial hearing last week.

The firm now has a further three weeks to pay its outstanding debts to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) following the court’s decision to adjourn its hearing until October 21 2013.

The case was heard last Monday (30 September) at the Royal Courts of Justice after HMRC served Follett Stock with a winding-up petition over an unpaid debt (26 September 2013).

Sources close to the firm suggested it had not paid a VAT or income tax bill, though the debt may relate to both issues.

HMRC issued the claim on 19 August when a statutory demand – the first phase of proceedings to recover unpaid cash – was unsuccessful.

In anticipation of the hearing, the Cornwall Law Society had put together an action plan to help clients of firms affected by financial difficulties after the SRA revealed that 160 firms were in financial trouble (14 June 2013).

In August the firm settled claims of sexual harassment against managing partner Chris Lingard after solicitor Kate Baker accused him of bullying her while she worked at the firm. The matter was settled before it could progess to a full tribunal hearing (27 August 2013).

Lingard could not be reached for comment.