Scot Young, a property and telecoms tycoon, failed in an attempt to shield the wealthy men, who he has claimed paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to provide for his ex-wife Michelle and her two daughters during their bitter, seven-year legal battle.
Lawyers for the 51-year-old businessman, who is officially bankrupt, tried to prevent the men being cross-examined by Mrs Young. She claims her husband squirrelled away £400m in offshore tax havens before they split in 2006, and that his friends ‘are, in fact, a conduit for his secreted wealth’.
Sir Philip Green, who owns Topshop, claims he paid two cheques for £80,000 to an estate agent in 2008 to help Mrs Young pay rent on a London house. Justin Warshaw, acting for Mr Young, argued his ‘friends and sponsors’ had provided witness statements and their evidence should not be challenged.
Mr Justice Moor said that would amount to a ‘ridiculous situation’. He added: ‘I consider it almost inconceivable that she would not be able to challenge them… If these people are saying that they funded Mr Young then she is entitled to cross-examine them.’
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