Gordon Ramsay loses high court claim
Apr 2015 - by
His celebrity chef status may remain undiminished, but Gordon Ramsay has lost his multi-million pound high court claim that his father-in-law fraudulently used a 'ghost writing' machine to sign him up for a pub deal.
The 48-year-old chef faces an estimated £1m plus legal costs of the failed claim.
Ramsay had alleged his wife Tana’s father Christopher Hutcheson had used the ghost writing signature machine without his authority to make him a personal guarantor for the £640,000 a year annual rent for the historic 160-year-old York & Albany pub in an exclusive area near Regent’s Park, London. He sought a declaration that because his signature was not “lawfully authorised”, he was not bound to the 25-year lease signed in 2007.
He took the pub’s owner, American-based film director Gary Love, to court in a bid to get out of the deal. But Mr Justice Morgan dismissed his claim and ordered him to pay all of Love’s estimated £652,000 bill, with £250,000 to be paid within 28 days.
The chef must also pay his own costs, estimated at around £400,000, taking the final bill to over £1m. He must also pay the £1.3m owing in rent.
The judge ruled that Ramsay may not have known of the intended guarantee prior to the grant of the lease, but added: “Mr Ramsay’s own evidence establishes the very extensive, if not total, trust which Mr Ramsay placed in Mr Hutcheson to deal with business affairs on behalf of both the companies and Mr Ramsay himself.”