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25 March 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Leeds City Council has reached an out-of-court settlement with a former chairman of a property developer to recover legal costs after a failed procurement challenge.
Earlier this year, the local authority brought bankruptcy action against Jan Fletcher of Montpellier Estates after the High Court granted it permission to chase her for £2 million. The judge gave Fletcher until 14 November to pay the interim costs, pending a final decision on the total due, but she failed to meet this deadline.
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the council has agreed in principle with Jan Fletcher, dependent on her getting further guidance on the release of assets, to a £2 million settlement of our costs. We are satisfied, based on legal advice, that this is a good deal for council taxpayers and we hope to be finalising the details of the terms of the arrangement over the next few days.”
The case related to a procurement process to find land and a developer to build an arena in Leeds. In February 2013 the local authority won a court battle in which Montpellier Estates had alleged the council had broken rules, breached an implied contract and had deceived the company to keep it in a procurement competition.