JD Wetherspoon accused its former property advisor Van de Berg & Co of breaching its duty to the company in the High Court today.

The value pub chain is suing Van de Berg & Co Ltd, headed by Chris Braun, for allegedly selling sites to other property companies when it was exclusively retained by JD Wetherspoon.

In a court hearing due to last five weeks, Catherin Newman QC, of Maitland Chambers, said that from 1999 Van de Berg was paid an annual fee in order to exclusively act for JD Wetherspoon in acquiring 85 new properties a year.

‘The fees changed from a “fee per property” arrangement to a retainer,’ said Newman. ‘From this point Van de Berg acted only for JD Wetherspoon.’

She said Van de berg had received around £14m in fees from the pub chain since the two companies started working together in 1989.

It is understood that Van de Berg’s counsel will argue that it was not exclusively retained by JD Wetherspoon, and that sites that were sold to other companies were not suitable or could not be afforded by JD Wetherspoon.