Franchisee stages protest over lost pay out

01 October, 2010

A former Threshers franchisee has been staging a one-man protest outside the Liverpool office of KPMG.

William McCarthy claims he was never paid the £31,000 owed to him after agreeing to sell his franchise back to First Quench before the company went into administration last October.

He told the Liverpool Echo that he had sought an exit from his contract over wrangles about the First Quench till system and an “Orwellian” head office approach to monitoring franchise stores.

Legally, McCarthy is classified as an unsecured creditor, putting him in line with a queue of companies and individuals owed money following the chain’s collapse.

Current estimates from KPMG suggest he is likely to receive only around 1p for every £1 owed to him – working out at just £310.

McCarthy claims he has been left struggling to pay his mortgage. “If I can’t keep up with my payments I could lose my home,” he told the paper.

He has been staging a protest at the KPMG office holding a sign which reads: “KPMG stole my shop.”?The administrator said it sympathised with McCarthy’s plight but it had to consider his case just as any other creditor claim. Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG and joint administrator of First Quench, told OLN: “We are aware of the reason for Mr McCarthy’s protest and his claim against First Quench.

“Since First Quench went into administration last October we have fully explained the legal position [to him]. Although we sympathise with his situation, we are bound by the law relating to how we are obliged to deal with claims of unsecured creditors, of which Mr McCarthy is one.

“This means all unsecured creditors must be treated equally, regardless of their situation.”

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