Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has had evidence submitted in the ongoing £14m court case brought by former corporate broker Jeff Blue rejected.
Ashley failed to submit new expert evidence in the ongoing lawsuit brought by former Merrill Lynch banker Blue, according to The Sunday Times.
The retail mogul is being sued by Blue following claims that he agreed and subsequently failed to pay the former Sports Direct broker £15m for doubling the retailer’s share price over a three-year period.
Blue claims that Ashley paid him £1m but reneged the remaining fee, despite the retailer’s share price rising to more than £8 in 2014 from less than £4 in 2012.
Ashley has previously claimed that the offer was “banter” and never a formal arrangement.
The retail tycoon’s legal team requested that it submit evidence in the form of a 24-page report by managing director of corporate finance firm Simon Dunn last week.
The document allegedly detailed factors that had boosted Sports Direct’s share price other than Blue’s involvement in the retailer between 2012 and 2014, including growing City awareness and the retailer’s aggressive bricks-and-mortar expansion.
Blue’s barrister John Taylor argued that Ashley’s legal team was attempting to introduce new pleadings “through the back door” and had not previously mentioned the need for expert evidence.
The judge, Justice Phillips, agreed that it was “too late in the day” for Ashley to submit expert evidence and denied his request, as well as awarding £38,000 in costs to Blue.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in July.