Richard Womack claims he was promised 10 per cent of shares in the multi-billion pound fashion platform for his work
A web developer is suing the founder of fashion website Boohoo for £118.5m over allegations that he was not paid for helping to create the company’s website.
Richard Womack has lodged action against billionaire Mahmud Kamani claiming that he was meant to be recognised as a third founder of the online retailer.
Mr Womack says that he was asked by Mr Kamani to help develop a website selling clothing online in 2006 and in exchange for two years work he would receive 10 per cent shares in the company as remuneration.
However the complaint alleges he was not paid for the work and is owed millions since the company, now valued at £2 billion, found success.
Solicitors arguing for Mr Womack say that he spent almost two years coding the website, its database and “developing bespoke stock management software as part of the process.”
He also claims to have helped decide the Boohoo logo and the “look and feel” of the site, as well as “management and control of Boohoo, including negotiating contracts, placing orders, dealing with complaints and working on commercial issues beyond the website, developing key ideas for concepts and running marketing campaigns.”
He designed the stand when the company launched at the Clothes Show Live in 2006 and took details of initial interested customers, his solicitors claim.
Mr Womack said: “It’s very galling to have had zero recognition for the part I played. It’s just not right – particularly when, the reality is, Boohoo has three founders, not two.
“We agreed that I would receive a 10 per cent share in the company by way of remuneration for the work I did and that’s all I ask for – what was agreed.”
He continued: “When I look back on those years, I remember how much time and energy – how much of my life – was invested in creating the Boohoo e-commerce platform and making a success of the business during the brand’s early years.
“It has continued to sap my energy since – it’s very galling to have had zero recognition for the part I played and the time, the money and expertise I invested.”
‘No monies owed’
A spokesperson for Mr Kamani confirmed that Mr Womack had provided IT services for the Manchester based company during the period, but that he outright rejects claims money is owed.
He said the “allegations are entirely without merit.”
“Most recently in February of this year lawyers acting for Womack sent a letter before action, again seeking payment of millions of pounds from Mr Kamani.
“Pannone Corporate (representing Mr Kamani) has responded fully to Womack’s latest allegations.
“Womack’s allegations are entirely without merit. No monies are due and owing to Womack. Any claim which is formally served on Mr Kamani, will be met with an application to strike it out.”