Ex-BHS boss Dominic Chappell has vowed to fight legal action that could see him forced to pay to cover the collapsed retailer’s pension deficit.

 Chappell is arguing that, despite his status as the last owner of BHS, the entire responsibility for the black hole in the scheme is down to former owner Sir Philip Green, the Guardian reported.

Green, who sold the business to Chappell’s company Retail Acquisitions in 2015 for a nominal fee of £1, revealed earlier this week that he has agreed a settlement of up to £363m with the regulator, with £343m already in escrow.

The regulator has dropped its legal proceedings against Green as a result but it is continuing with legal action against Chappell. This is reportedly as much as £17m.

A spokesman for Retail Acquisitions said: “Any action brought by the Pensions Regulator will be robustly defended because RAL did not cause or add to the pension deficit, that shortfall was built up during the previous ownership.”

The Retail Acquisitions spokesman said: “Dominic Chappell is currently working very hard with the liquidator to recover and preserve nearly £50m, which will benefit the creditors and BHS pensioners.”

BHS’ collapse last April led to 11,000 people losing their jobs and a £571m pension deficit affecting 20,000.