A private members club in London is suing a kitchen consultancy firm for hundreds of thousands of pounds after it allegedly failed to provide catering equipment.
The 5 Hertford Street private members’ establishment, rumoured to be a favourite of stars such as George Clooney, was reportedly ordered by Westminster council to improve its kitchens after scoring a one-star hygiene rating last year.
Around £1 million is said to have been invested in the venue, including a “state-of-the-art food preparation facility” which it said in January would open “in the near future”. The club received full marks in a later inspection.
However, the Evening Standard reported last night that the club has issued a High Court writ claiming that Paul Valet, who runs PV Consultants, a French consultancy, failed to deliver four new kitchens worth £327,000 for its Carrington House premises, which provides kitchen services for the club.
The claim form, which the newspaper says it has seen, states that the price was agreed after discussions between October 2012 and January 2013.
It says the club paid three invoices worth a total of £270,253.20 by May 2013. However, at a meeting on April 9, it was agreed that cold rooms and storage equipment worth £63,193 would be supplied by another contractor and the contract price was cut to £263,760, plus delivery and installation.
However, the writ says that despite three emails to PV Consultants demanding access to the kitchen equipment, it has “neglected or refused to supply the goods”.
The paper reported that the writ adds that on November 15, solicitors for PV Consultants wrongfully made “unjustified demands for the payment of various sums of money” and that Paul Valet “made it clear he was unwilling to supply the remaining goods or to perform the installation work unless or until the claimant complied with such demands”.
The club is demanding damages for not having a working kitchen, delivery of the equipment and the return of the £6,493.20 “overpayment” — a total in excess of £300,000.
The paper said that the club had declined to comment and Mr Valet could not be reached.