Ousted Mission Capital founders Neil and Emma Sinclair today lost a High Court battle to be reinstated as executive directors up until the end of the legal trial over their future with the company.

The Sinclairs are suing Mission and the other members of the board over the ‘brutal coup’ which saw them ejected from the company on 5th February this year.

Best interests

In advance of the trial the Sinclairs were seeking to be reinstated in the company as, they fear, the non-executive directors are not acting in the best interests of Mission. They say the remaining board members, led by Chelsfield Partners non-executive director Robert Burrows, are seeking to ‘advance and protect the commercial interests of Chelsfield particularly in respect of the Athens Investments Joint Venture’.

Athens is a portfolio of five properties jointly owned by Mission and Chelsfield which was bought in December 2006 for £36m.

But today Mr Justice Floyd said the ‘balance of justice’ was against reinstating the Sinclairs in advance of the trial.

'Recipe for strife'

‘Restoring the Sinclairs to a position on the board where they will be in daily contact with board members with whom they are locked in litigation would be a recipe for strife’, he said.

The non-executive directors say the Sinclairs’ contracts were terminated because of ‘consistent failures to achieve company forecasts’ and a failure to disclose financial information.

The Sinclairs also failed to carry on with a derivative claim against Mission – a claim in which a shareholder sues a company over its actions, but still have their personal claim against the company.

However, they have added Chris Phillips, the man who replaced them as Mission’s executive director, to the list of people they are suing.