City Wire

By Danielle Levy

A group of frustrated Tesco shareholders have appointed a leading barrister to represent them in a legal battle concerning the overstatement of the retailer’s profit last year.

According to Sky News, the shareholder group has appointed Philip Marshall QC to represent them. He previously represented Liverpool FC to fight off a challenge to the club’s last change of ownership by Fenway Sports Group in 2010.

Back in March, the Tesco shareholder action group said it was exploring legal action following the significant fall in Tesco’s share price last autumn, following the overstatement of its profit. Following the announcement of the profit miscalculation Tesco’s share price fell 20% over the two weeks that followed.

Sky News reported that a similar case is also being prepared by Stewarts Law, which specialises in shareholder claims and that Tesco had previously stated it would defend itself against legal action.

A number of institutional investors are understood to have signed up to the shareholder group, which is challenging how the supermarket chain overstated profit by more than £320 million. The Serious Fraud Office has also launched an investigation and a number of Tesco executives have been suspended as a result of the debacle.