Vega+ Shipping Dates
- End of September 2016
- October 2016
- In time for Xmas 2016
- February 2017
- A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
- Summer 2017
- 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
- Mid October 2017
- April 2018
- May 8th - 12th 2018
- May 12th 2018
- May 31st 2018 (Indiegogo deadline)
- June 15th 2018
- July 6th 2018
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RCL lawyers confirm no costs incurred in court plus false tax claims
RCL directors David Levy and Suzanne Martin lost a high court case in which they attempted to unlawfully remove shares belonging to Paul Andrews. Michelmores, the law firm that represented Retro Computers Limited in the failed case, are currently under investigation by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Michelmores sent Retro Computers Limited the following letter in July 2017.
Paul Andrews and Chris Smith have publically confirmed they dropped one small part from the court case in an attempt to prevent Michelmores from confusing and distracting the courts in the main matter, that being the unlawful share removal. Retro Computers Limited (along with their vocal ex-spokesman Lee Fogarty) have made wild claims that the costs they incurred for the dropped part of the case was in the tens of thousands of pounds, and have repeatedly lied about claiming these costs back. Lee Fogarty has bragged on social media that he was due to receive approximately £20,000 and purchase a new car with the money.
This letter from Michelmores confirms that Retro Computers did not incur any costs at all for that small matter, and both Retro Computers Limited and by default the lawyers Michelmores lied to the court about those costs.
The correspondence also reveals that Retro Computers Limited had already made some sort of tax refund claim from the UK government/HMRC, and was planning to repeat the procedure again in the immediate future.
This is an extremely serious matter with severe consequences for all concerned parties, as the publicly declared assets of Retro Computers Limited on their last accounts submission to HMRC was £433,000. Despite supposedly having these funds in the bank, Retro Computers Limited have failed to supply the 5,000 Vega+ consoles to backers, sending out approximately 100 or so prototype consoles in oversized boxes to extremely poor reviews. With more than £60,000 worth of refund requests outstanding (and growing daily), Retro Computers Limited are unable to pay their creditors, which includes the very same lawyers that are now chasing money from RCL. With RCL trading insolvent for more than a year, it is presumed that the HMRC request was nothing more than a false tax back claim.
It should also be noted that Retro Computers Limited could not lawfully claim any sort of R&D tax credit for the Vega+ console, as the software within the Vega Plus console has been confirmed to be the public domain software FUSE. By default, this would not allow Retro Computers Limited to claim they have developed it, nor extended it in any significant way, or created anything novel.
Anyone concerned about this matter should report their concerns via this link - https://www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business
Lee Fogarty bragged on social media in 2017 that he would buy a new car with the £20,000 he claims that he was due, despite Michelmores saying otherwise:
Pynes Hill, Exeter EX2 5WR
Tel: 01392 688688
Fax: 01392 360563
DX 135608 Exeter 16
Our reference GZS/JIC/124919/1
Date 13 July 2017
Dear Suzanne and David
I wanted to update you on the position with respect to outstanding fees having now provided our bill of costs to Premier Solicitors in respect of their application for an injunction.
As discussed on Wednesday with Suzanne, I anticipate that they will focus their points of dispute on attacking Lee Fogarty's costs on the grounds that the majority of those costs would have needed to be incurred by the Retro Computers Limited ('Retro') in any event. On that basis the Court may decide that Mr Fogarty is not due any costs because Retro did not incur additional costs or incurred very little additional cost in relation to that Defendant.
We await both Premier's comments on our points of dispute in respect of their bills and their points of dispute in respect of our certified bills. We will update you on receipt.
Update on costs
On matter 1 (Call Notice/Injunction) there are currently fees of £52,015.60 including VAT owed to Michelmores. Other outstanding disbursements total £243.11.
Counsel's fees invoiced including VAT for Paul Emmerson amount to £61,372.00 (including VAT). This does not include any fees that have not yet been invoiced.
Costs Counsel Derek Boyle has incurred fees of £11,900 plus VAT. (We currently hold £4,288.10 on account and will set this sum off against that figure. monies on account, therefore set off)
On matter 2 (Cornerstone / Cooper) Michelmores' outstanding fees are £67,108.20.
Counsel's outstanding fees are £48,568.80 (including VAT) and there are other disbursements on the file of £473.56.
This includes all Counsel's fees invoiced to date on both matters but not unbilled time.
Clearly the anticipated work across both matters has been very significant, exacerbated by Andrews' behaviour on matter 1 and by the number of Court hearings required on matter 2 (and the fact that costs awards against Cooper have been held over until the October hearing).
As you know our terms and conditions are that invoices are payable on receipt but at this stage Michelmores has agreed to accept payment by instalments and we understand that you expect to pay in full by the end of September. This should include sales income from the Vega and the Vega + consoles in addition to any further anticipated sums in to Retro such as Tax rebates.
It would be helpful in terms of our own internal reporting if you could set out for us the anticipated instalment dates and amounts that will be paid.
I understand from my discussion yesterday that your intention is to fulfil existing orders on the new Vega + console, to then pay all creditors and thereafter wind up the company. On that basis we would be happy to consider your proposals for a fixed charge in respect of our fees over the products to be released when they are paid.
As above, Andrews and Smith will need to respond to our certified bill of costs and our points of dispute to their bill of costs. We will then be required to provide our responses to their points of dispute in respect of our bills of cost.
There may well be cost proceedings issued and to that end we firmly recommend that you make a Part 36 offer in respect of the fees now so as to protect all of your positions on costs and interest accruing.
Clarion Solicitors who are dealing with this matter on behalf of Andrews have proposed without prejudiced discussions to seek to settle the matter outside of cost proceedings. We recommend making an offer to protect your position on costs and would be happy to discuss the level of offer. It may be that we make an initial offer of 'drop hands' in respect of each party's costs.
Costs in respect of matter one could exceed a further £40,000 plus VAT if a full detailed assessment of costs at Court is required.
With respect to Cornerstone Media International Limited, there is a further hearing on 18 October 2017 after which we would hope to be in a position to enforce all costs orders against Mr Cooper.
We anticipate the cost of that hearing to be no less than £20,000 plus VAT. In order to prepare for that hearing and undertake the necessary work we anticipate all outstanding fees having been paid well in advance of the Court date.
We will provide updated scopes of work for the work going forward but in the meantime Garbhan and I would be very grateful for your proposals in respect of the outstanding fees including your proposed instalment amounts and payment dates.
JAYNE CLEMENS — SENIOR ASSOCIATE
For and on behalf of Michelmores LLP
Direct Dial: 01392 687724
19370470 2 OF 2 13 July 2017
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More terrible press for the much maligned console and to make matters worse, Sky have now insisted that the company no longer use the Sinclair name and its related trademarks.
"Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+ in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run."
— RCL (15/02/2016)
- All refunds processed: ✘
- Roll of honour email: ✘
- Address confirmation: ✘
- Battery specification: ✘
- PEGI certification: ✘
- Final specs released: ✘
- Games list released: ✘
- Finished box design: ✘
- Manual released: ✘
- Working website: ✘
- Final devices made: 0 ✘
- Small claims victories: 0 ✘
- Prototypes made: ~100-200 ✔