Dean Overton, the former managing director of Save Group, the petrol retailer, has served a writ on the company claiming "substantial damages" for breach of contract. Mr Overton was dismissed by the company on 8 November for "gross misconduct". He claimed yesterday that the company's objective was "to avoid paying compensation at all costs". He said he had not been paid his contractual notice pay and other benefits. Save Group was unavailable for comment last night but last week chairman James Frost wrote to shareholders explaining the reasons for Mr Overston's dismissal. He claimed Mr Overton had dismissed two long-serving Save employees who subsequently had to be paid compensation. Mr Frost also said Mr Overton wrote threatening letters to licensees who were suspected of opening their stations late.