Boohoo’s joint boss and co-founder has been hit with a £118.5m lawsuit from an IT contractor claiming to be the third founder behind the fast-fashion etailer.

carol kane and mahmud kamani joint CEOs Boohoo

Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane

The claim has been brought by Richard Womack against Mahmud Kamani, the billionaire co-founder of Boohoo, for breach of agreement, according to the law firm representing him, JMW Solicitors.

The claim says Womack began working with Kamani in 1998, providing IT consultancy services for his then business Pinstripe Clothing. In February 2006, the suit says, Kamani approached Womack to request he develop a website to sell clothing online.

Womack claims he was promised a 10% share in Boohoo for his work, “but has never been rewarded for the work undertaken” since 2006.

The lawsuit says Womack spent two years working without pay for Kamani “building the infrastructure of the website, including developing bespoke stock management software” as part of the process, and created “the coding of the website, database, integrated stock lines, organised and bought equipment for photoshoots, decided the ‘look and feel’ of the website and chose the logo”.

Womack said it had been “very galling to have had zero recognition for the part I played and the time, money and expertise I invested. I’ve never received a single penny for my work on the Boohoo website and it’s just not right”.

Boohoo was in hot water last week with the union of shop, distribution and allied workers (Usdaw) and MPs after it refused to meet for talks on ethical trading standards.

From a business point of view, however, the etailer – which also owns brands such as PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal – has been going from strength to strength. Its last set of full-year results published in April showed pre-tax profits grew 38% to £59.9m. Total sales rocketed 48% to £856.9m.

The fashion etailer is now valued at £2.7bn, compared with £560m when it first listed in 2014.