Case against former leaders of Kids Company begins at the High Court

The Official Receiver is seeking bans of up to six years against Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity's chief executive, and a group of trustees; they reject the claims

The case against Camila Batmanghelidjh and a group of former trustees of the collapsed charity Kids Company has begun at the High Court. 

The Official Receiver is seeking to secure disqualification from senior positions for periods of up to six years against Batmanghelidjh, founder and chief executive of Kids Company, and seven trustees of the charity at the time it closed abruptly in 2015

That includes Alan Yentob, former creative director at the BBC and who chaired Kids Company for 18 years, and Richard Handover, former chair and chief executive of the retailer WH Smith. 

The Official Receiver is claiming that Batmanghelidjh and the group of trustees ran an unsustainable business model and should have been able to see that it was heading for financial meltdown. 

It is seeking a ban of six years against Batmanghelidjh, who it claims was a de facto director of the charity by virtue of her position as chief executive. 

It wants to secure four-year bans against Yentob, Handover, Jane Tyler, Andrew Webster and Francesca Robinson, and disqualifications of three years against Vincent O’Brien and two and a half years against Erica Bolton. 

Batmanghelidjh and the former trustees reject the accusations and say the periods of disqualification being sought are extreme, unsupported and unfairly presented. 

The defendants say they were all acting in good faith and were making reasonable judgement calls in the face of difficulties. 

Lawyers for Batmanghelidjh also reject the claim that she was a de facto director and say the case against her should be dropped. 

The hearings are due to run until December.

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