A father has been left with a bill for £120,000 in legal fees after claiming that he owned half of his son’s courier business. The company, Time Critical International, was started in 1996 by Roger Marsh’s son, Simon, with a £10,000 payout he received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Simon received the payout as a result of injuries he sustained when he was trying to stop two men from attacking his father with iron bars. Simon Marsh told the High Court that he believed that the attack came after his father was accused of violence towards his ex-wife. From its modest beginnings, Simon Marsh’s company now has a £17.5 million turnover and makes an annual profit of £5 million. Roger Marsh told the High Court that he had spent his life helping his dyslexic son Simon to build the business.
Roger Marsh asked the High Court to declare that he and his son were in partnership and that he was therefore entitled to half of the company’s assets. Simon Marsh told the High Court that his father was ‘living on another planet’ if he believed that he owned half of the business. The judge, Sir Edward Evans-Lombe, ruled that Simon Marsh’s evidence was preferable to that of his father, which he held to be 'to a very large extent fictitious'. Roger Marsh told reporters after the hearing that he never thought he needed to have anything in writing, adding, "You don’t when you’re dealing with your own son."
Failing to put essential business agreements in writing is a recipe for disaster. We can advise you on all aspects of commercial law.