Langford founded personal injury company The Accident Group, which collapsed in 2003 with debts totalling about £100m.
Staff learned of their redundancies by a text, which read: “Urgent. Unfortunately salaries not paid. Please do not contact office. Full details to follow later today.”
They were advised to call head office, where a recorded message from the administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers, told them: “All staff who are being retained will be contacted. If you have not been spoken to, you are therefore being made redundant with immediate effect.”
Following the firm’s collapse, an employment tribunal condemned senior management for “cynically manipulating” staff.