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Ripped off during maternity leave!

(4 Posts)
ArwynsMummy Sun 15-May-16 22:27:23

I'm going to try and keep this as concise a possible, it's causing me great stress and my head is jumbled up with it all but here goes..
I became pregnant early last year, v.late in the day, in fact thought I was going through the menopause, I live in Wales but travelled every week to London where I had a creative business with a friend, the past 6 years. We would meet on a Monday, work and have meetings til Wednesday each week.
When I first announced the pregnancy, I was adamant that I would like to continue working with him and would return to the business. I asked him what he would like to do going forward and he said he would keep the business ticking along and wait for me to return, paying me 10% of the profit of each job, only agreeing to this after initially saying he'd give me nothing while I was off. I originally planned to return after 3 months but as the pregnancy progressed and by his advice (he's got 3 kids), decided it would probably be longer and we would revise after 3 months. (I was still adamant I would be returning to the business). During this time, he set up his own website with our clients listed as his, using images created by us.
We spoke in the new year and I told him I would be returning to work in the spring which is when he told me our clients had all gone elsewhere and they no longer used us, plus he had decided he wanted to try going alone. I asked specifically after certain clients and he denied working with any of them.
I have since had it confirmed that he is now working with our clients and hiring freelancers to do my job, he's also using equipment ie assets bought by our company, ie 50% mine to shoot our clients and pocket all the money.
We have no legal agreement drawn up, foolishly I trusted him as I thought he was a friend.
I need to get my work from him as its in the company portfolio and then confront him about what he has done. Any advice on how to handle this, I realise that legally I have no leg to stand on but I should at least qualify for 59% of the value of the assets?

wowfudge Sun 15-May-16 22:36:48

If you are joint directors and shareholders of a limited company then you have various responsibilities and rights. Have a look on the Companies House website to start with - you need to make sure statutory returns have been made otherwise the Registrar could start striking off procedures. Any assets of the company become the property of the crown, but it sounds as though your colleague has taken the assets and would claim they were his and lent to the company. You need to take proper legal advice though.

ArwynsMummy Sun 15-May-16 23:11:10

Thanks for your reply wowfudge.
We are partners in the business and it's not limited.
Would it be useful to contact our accountants as they would have proof of joint assets? I'm sorry to be so ignorant of legalities, like most people who end up in this situation, I never thought this situation would ever arise!

wowfudge Mon 16-May-16 20:04:01

Do you have a partnership agreement? Did you both sign service agreement documents with the accountant? I think it would be best for you to get some proper legal advice - you need to extricate yourself from the partnership if nothing else and ensure you have no liabilities related to it.

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