Ex Sports Direct CEO fights criminal proceedings

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Dave Forsey

Former Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey is fighting an attempted prosecution from the government over his handling of the collapse of the company’s subsidy USC.

He has been accused by the government of failing to notify the business secretary 30 days before he planned to make 200 staff members redundant. A challenge and judicial review has since been brought against the criminal proceedings by Forsey, according to The Times.

USC, a subsidy of Sports Direct, collapsed in 2015 with 200 staff working in its Ayrshire warehouse reportedly being given just 15 minutes’ notice of their imminent redundancy.

Later that year Forsey and an accountant were charges with failing to comply with the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, to which both pleaded not guilty.

READ MORE: Mike Ashley dealt latest blow in £14m legal battle

On March 30 this year a judicial review was heard, in which Forsey’s legal team argued that only the secretary of state in person or someone acting under their authority could have brought the proceedings.

The case was brought by the department for business, not by the secretary of state at the time Sajid Javid.

It is not known when judges will hand down their judgements of the review, however if Forsey’s attempt fails the case will go to trial next year.

Forsey quit the retailer in dramatic fashion after 32 years at Sports Direct just months after the retailer was plunged into the now infamous workers’ rights debacle. The sudden departure forced Mike Ashley to take on the role as chief executive, stating “I feel like I have lost my right arm.”

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