A legal spat between one of the Aim market's most experienced and colourful operators and a firm he set up moved a step closer to the courts yesterday.
David Lenigas, one of the best known oil and mining entrepreneurs in the City, says that he now intends to sue Mediterranean Oil and Gas (MOG) over a business venture on which he feels he was misled.
Mr Lenigas' Leni Gas (LGO) firm sold its 10 per cent stake in wells near Malta for a nominal $1 not long ago, wells in which Leni Gas was joint-venture partner with MOG.
MOG then rapidly sold most of these wells in a much more lucrative deal to Genel, worth $10m (£6m), leaving Mr Lenigas to think he was unfairly kept out of the loop.
He appointed litigation experts Mischon de Reya to look at this issue a few days ago.
Yesterday, LGO said that MOG has not responded to requests for information. "Should no satisfactory answers be received," said a statement, "Mischon de Reya has been instructed to seek disclosure through the courts."
Leni Gas chief executive Neil Ritson said: "LGO is concerned that representations other than the factual positions may have been made to it prior to agreeing to sell."
Mr Lenigas believes MOG and its representatives had a "duty of care" to keep him posted about business developments on the wells.
MOG last night said its board "refutes the suggestion in LGO's announcement that MOG… may have misrepresented its position to LGO. As such, MOG has instructed its legal advisers to address directly the matters raised by LGO, as appropriate, and to uphold and enforce MOG's rights".