A London plumbing firm has begun a £1m legal claim against a former employee at a rival business who is allegedly poaching famous clients including Kiera Knightley and Hugh Grant.
Pimlico Plumbers is charging competitor Service Corps with stealing confidential information in a bid to attract the A-list customers, who also include Daniel Craig and Helen Mirren. Charlie Mullins, 57, who owns Pimlico Plumbers, claims Steve Cosser, owner of Service Corps, poached his staff and then used them to steal clients for the new company.
Rival business Service Corps was set up in 2007, part-owned by Steve Cosser, a former Australian news presenter.
Pimlico Plumbers was founded in 1979, and now generates a £15m turnover. Its owner Charlie Mullins is a millionaire.
A High Court writ has been filed by solicitors Mishcon de Reya.
The Times reported that Mullins said: "It has been going on for about two years. Then about six or eight months ago, he tried to buy us out. I said: 'There's no way. It's not for sale. It's a family business. End of story'.
"It is not about the money. I could put the money down the drain. It wouldn't bother me. But it's not good for the industry. You need to send out a message that people need to conduct themselves properly."
Cosser declined to comment yesterday.