Gordon Ramsay is suing his former associate at Montreal's Laurier BBQ restaurant for more than £1m after he terminated the celebrity chef's association with the eatery.
Ramsay has filed a lawsuit against Danny Lavy, suing for Cdn$2.25m (£1.4m) in lost licensing fees due to alleged breach of contract and for alleged defamatory comments his former business partner made about him in the press.
According to the lawsuit, Ramsay's agreement with Laurier BBQ was binding for 10 years unless the restaurant was declared bankrupt or failed to make in excess of US$4m (£2.5m) in net sales in the first five years. It argues Ramsay met his obligations under the licensing agreement and that Lavy unlawfully breached the contract.
The lawsuit also claims that Lavy defamed Ramsay in an interview published in the Montreal Gazette, in which he announced he was removing the Gordon Ramsay name from the business, blaming the celebrity chef's failure to visit it since its opening last summer and criticising his management style.
A spokeswoman for GRH said: "This claim as been filed due to Mr Lavy and 9226, the company that operated Laurier Gordon Ramsay, unlawfully breaching the terms of the licensing agreement and because of Mr Lavy's recent public comments about Gordon Ramsay, which we consider to be untruthful and defamatory. As this is a legal matter, there will be no further comment at this time."
Last month, Gordon Ramsay reached an out-of-court settlement with father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, after dismissing him in October 2010 for alleged financial impropriety.
By Kerstin Kühn
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