Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Grabiner to quit Green empire a year after BHS collapse

The prominent barrister who chairs Sir Philip Green's retail empire is on the verge of quitting a year after the collapse of BHS cast a shadow over the reputation of one of Britain's biggest private companies.
Sky News has learnt that Lord Grabiner QC, who has led the board of Taveta Investments since 2002, is ‎close to stepping down from the role.
He is understood to have been considering his position for some time, although it was unclear on Tuesday night whether he had formally told Sir Philip that he was resigning.

The reasons for Lord Grabiner's impending exit were also unclear, but it would come several months after a report by MPs examining BHS's demise criticised the corporate governance of Sir Philip's holding company.

Lord Grabiner, whose reputation as one of the UK's top commercial barristers is well-established, was said to have been deeply irritated by the personal‎ scrutiny he faced over the crisis at BHS - the collapse of which triggered approximately 11,000 job losses.

The QC told MPs ahead of a parliamentary hearing last summer that he‎ had had "no involvement" in the decision to sell BHS to Retail Acquisitions Limited (RAL), the private vehicle of former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

Lord Grabiner was, nevertheless, criticised by the Business, Innovation and Skills, and Work and Pensions, committees for his "complacent performance", which was labelled "the apogee of weak corporate governance".

Pressure applied by the MPs on Sir Philip and pensions watchdogs spurred the various parties into a settlement reached in February which involved the tycoon forking out up to £363m to the BHS retirement schemes.

The BHS collapse was also a factor in plans outlined in a Government green paper ‎for large private companies to be subject to tougher corporate governance guidelines.

Lord Grabiner is said to have earned millions of pounds from his role at Taveta, which is the parent company of Arcadia Group - home to brands such as TopShop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.

SKY     News.