French private banking executive Nathalie Dauriac is claiming victory over her onetime backer John Caudwell, after a new court ruling that the mobile phones entrepreneur must pay 55 percent of her legal costs.
She said, in a statement, that with the £500,000 already awarded in damages, she will get “well over £1 million.”
But Ms Dauriac said she was still considering an appeal over what she called the undervaluation of her shares in Signia Wealth Management, which Mr Caudwell controlled.
The banker became mired in a dispute with Mr Caudwell, founder of Phones 4U, after setting up Signia together. In a May court case, it was alleged Ms Dauriac had wrongly claimed about £30,000 in expenses.
In that case, it was ruled that she had been constructively dismissed. In addition, there had been no proper determination of the value of her shares and she was entitled to about £500,000.
Mr Justice Marcus Smith has now published a follow-up ruling in which he made decisions about who should pay lawyers' bills. The judge said the general rule was that the loser picked up the winner's bills.
He said the conclusions he had reached represented something of “a mixed outcome for both parties”. But it seemed clear Ms Dauriac was “the winner” although her victory had its pyrrhic elements.
He had concluded that Mr Caudwell should pick up 55 percent of Ms Dauriac's legal costs.
Ms Dauriac said: “I am delighted that (this) judgement vindicates the case I brought on constructive dismissal and the wrongful valuation of my shares, confirming that I am the winner, and that the judge has seen fit to award me 55 percent of my costs, over and above the half a million pounds I was awarded in damages, totalling well over £1 million.”
She added, “This has been a protracted battle, going on for three years, with significant financial and emotional costs for me. The judgment finally gives me financial certainty and underlines the fact that I won on the key fundamentals.”