Shepherd Cox Legal Action
Earlier this week, a UK solicitor representing a large group of Shepherd Cox hotel room investors issued the first letters of claim to some of the parties involved. This is the first stage in a process which is expected to end up in court. The action is fully funded for investors and is being undertaken on a no-win no-fee basis. The claim has been made because it is believed the opponents have the resources to compensate investors for their losses.
It has taken us a long time to bring this together because the investors are located all over the world, but now that the primary claim has started our attention can move on to the other parties involved and the role they played in the formation, financial support, promotion or sale of these hotel rooms. We expect claims for compensation to be sent to those parties in the near future.
Efforts are ongoing to investigate where investors’ money ended up. Approximately £10m is unaccounted for. Mr Elliott Shaun Webster, a chartered accountant and director of Aquaco Water Recycling Ltd, By Loans Ltd and more importantly the beneficial owner of Luqa Ltd, has been a long-term financial backer of Lee Bramzell and the Shepherd Cox companies. For almost two years he was a director of Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd, the company which sat at the top of the Shepherd Cox pyramid.
Luqa Ltd, based in Malta, stepped in to put some of the non-investor hotels into administration with an administrator friendly to its cause. It has been alleged that this was in order to prevent the incumbent administrator of the six Shepherd Cox hotel companies gaining access to the records of Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd and other Luqa-linked hotels. Those records would show the money trail because it is believed that Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd benefitted from room investors’ money and used it to acquire hotels for itself.
As expected, seven months later and the Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd administrator is still not releasing information about the company. It has been suggested to us that Mr Webster may have been on the board solely to protect his investment. If that’s the case then why not instruct his administrator to release the company records ? It looks like a cover-up to us. Luqa Ltd is now financially supporting Lee Bramzell and Festival Hotels Group Ltd.
Until there is transparency in the dealings of the Shepherd Cox group of companies there will always be a question mark over the hotels below. Some of them may be subject to claims made by room investors in the future and that is one of the avenues we are exploring. The hotels are:
The Crab & Lobster and Crab Manor at Thirsk;
Bridge Hotel & Spa at Wetherby;
Three Ways House Hotel at Chipping Campden;
Wroxton House Hotel at Banbury;
Allerton Court Hotel at Northallerton;
The Olde Barn Hotel at Grantham;
Hallgarth Manor Hotel at Durham;
The Comfort Inn at Sunderland;
The New Hobbit Inn at Sowerby Bridge.
Lee Bramzell and Nick Carlile both explained the involvement of Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd in some of these hotels in their IVA Proposals:
“Four of the companies (those operating Bridge Hotel, Olde Barn Hotel, Comfort Inn and Crab & Lobster Hotel & Restaurant) were previously ultimately wholly owned by Shepherd Cox Hotels Holdings Ltd,…..”
The moral standards of some UK insolvency firms are being called into question. It seems to us that far too many of them are supporting scams and using UK insolvency regulations to frustrate victims from obtaining justice.
We are currently working with investor groups on similar scams and will be publishing details in the near future.
Shepherd Cox Legal Action.