The High Court has rejected young fashion brand Miss Sixty’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Today’s decision comes just days after it was revealed that Miss Sixty became embroiled in a legal battle with British landlord Mourant & Co Trustees. The feud was over a rental agreement that the landlord had been given by Sixty UK’s Italian parent company Sixty over the leases of Miss Sixty and Energie stores.
The brand was rescued from administration via a CVA last May. Following the CVA, Mourant Trustees was stripped of the right to ask Miss Sixty’s parent firm in Italy, the guarantor of two leases it had agreed, to pay what was owed by Miss Sixty UK.
Mr Justice Henderson said that there had been a “prima facie case of misconduct” by Sixty UK’s joint administrators Peter Hollis and Nicholas O’Reilly.
He said: “Unfortunately, the administrators in the present case seem to have lost a proper sense of objectivity, and they allowed themselves to side with Sixty group against the interests of the guaranteed landlords of the closed stores. They permitted Sixty SpA to dictate the crucial terms of the CVA, and they misrepresented the true position to the creditors. It is only thanks to the persistence of the applicants and their legal advisers that this regrettable state of affairs has come to light.”
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation welcomed today’s ruling.
“This is of huge significance because it shows that immoral acts designed to let directors manage retailers into the ground, blame the landlord and walk away will not be tolerated by the courts,” she said. “Common sense has won out and this will hopefully make future cases of firms cynically using insolvency laws less likely.”