Matalan founder suing PwC for ‘ineffective tax avoidance advice’
Big four firm denies it was negligent when it advised John Hargreaves on move to Monaco in 2000
The multimillionaire founder of Matalan is suing his accountants for allegedly giving him ineffective tax avoidance advice – weeks after his retail empire received tens of millions of pounds of taxpayer support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
John Hargreaves claims the big four accounting firm PwC was negligent when it advised him on how his move to Monaco in 2000 would avoid capital gains and income taxes when he sold £237m worth of shares in the company.
The tycoon – whose family is worth £550m, according to the latest Sunday Times rich list – sold the shares after Matalan was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1998. He claims he followed his “trusted tax advisers” advice on how to relocate to the tax haven and then offload the shares in one bulk transaction just months later.
However, the arrangements led to a lengthy legal battle with HM Revenue & Customs.