Tillman sues over collapse

THE ENTREPRENEUR Harold Tillman, whom the Department of Trade and Industry is threatening to disqualify as a director, is suing a firm of auditors and two former directors involved in the collapse of his former quoted company, the Honorbilt menswear group, writes William Kay.

If successful, Mr Tillman believes it will help to clear his name. He then aims to make a stock market comeback as head of two fashionable London bars, the O Bar and Bar Royale.

He has served High Court writs for damages on Jeffrey Pinnick, Raymond Turner, and Shelley, Pinnick & Co. Mr Turner and Mr Pinnick, a former partner of Shelley, Pinnick, were directors of Gallini Group, a casual wear wholesaler which Honorbilt bought in 1988. Shelley, Pinnick was Gallini's auditor.

Honorbilt collapsed two years later and its receiver, Ernst & Young, issued a writ against Shelley, Pinnick. That claim is now worth pounds 17m.

Mr Pinnick, who is finance director of an entirely separate quoted company, Securitised Endowment Contracts, said: 'There is no substance whatever in the allegations, and I intend to vigorously defend it. Mr Turner feels the same.'

Terry Curzon, a Shelley, Pinnick partner at the time and now partner of a successor firm, Shelley Simmons Pinnick, said: 'We have received Mr Tillman's writ and I have no comment.'