Businessman behind Leeds-based Premier Motor Auctions set for High Court trial in legal battle with Lloyds Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers

A businessman who ran a car auction operation in Leeds is preparing for a High Court trial after becoming embroiled in a legal battle with Lloyds Bank and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The dispute over financing centres on the now-insolvent Premier Motor Auctions, which was run by businessman Keith Elliott and based in Leeds.

Read More

Read More
A bank, the accountants and a Leeds car auction firm '˜brought down by boss's li...

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Liquidators have complained that Lloyds gained effective control over Premier Motor Auctions, which also operated a unique registration plate before going into liquidation in 2010, after conspiring with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Lloyds and PwC deny the allegations.

They say former managing director Mr Elliott ran the company into the ground after drawing heavily on funds to support an extravagant lifestyle.

Lawyers say a judge will oversee a trial during April and May.

Mr Justice Snowden has been considering the case for more than a year.

The judge heard legal argument at a further preliminary hearing today and lawyers say he is listed to oversee a trial between April 10 and May 25.

He published detail of allegation and counter allegation in a preliminary ruling in October 2015.

The judge said Lloyds had introduced Mr Elliott to a PwC representative, following discussions about financial arrangements.

Premier Motor Auctions' liquidators subsequently took legal action, claiming the PwC representative had been introduced to Mr Elliott on false pretences.

"It is said that (he) was used by the bank and PwC as part of a conspiracy to obtain an internal assessment of Premier Motor Auctions to identify a fictitious need for additional finance that could then be provided by the bank on terms that gave it effective control ... and the means to force them into administration so that their business and assets could be sold at an undervalue ... for the benefit of the bank," said Mr Justice Snowden in the preliminary ruling.

"Those allegations are denied by (Lloyds and PwC), who contend that in reality Premier Motor Auctions (was) 'run into the ground' by Mr Elliott ... who drew heavily on (company) funds to support his own extravagant lifestyle."

He indicated that Premier Motor Auctions' liquidators wanted compensation for losses they estimated at around £50 million.