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McNicholas pair to fight £1.4 million

A LONG-running feud between McNicholas Con - struction and sacked chief executive Colin McNicholas is expected to reignite in the New Year.

Watford Employment Tribunal ruled in March 2004 that Mr McNicholas and the company's former finance director, Melvyn Byrne, were unfairly dismissed by the company and awarded the pair a total of £88,000.

Now Mr McNicholas and Mr Byrne are preparing to chase a further £1.4 million they believe they are owed in compensation for breach of contract.

Shortly after their dismissal in 2003 the men rejected a £180,000 payout each from the man that sacked them, former chief executive and chairman Martin May, who was succeeded by Colin's nephew Barry McNicholas earlier this year.

Last week the men rejected an offer of £75,000 from the company and Mr McNicholas is confident that they can win a case in the High Court.

He said: 'We would hardly accept a reduced offer when we turned down £180,000 at the time.

'My writ for breach of contract is being prepared and will be issued in the High Court. I will pursue the claim in full, which should set a precedent for Melvyn.

'I don't particularly want to go to the High Court but the tribunal ruling was very clear and gives us a strong case.' A source close to the company said: 'It's unfortunate that this has all flared up again.

'But hopefully we can sit down and sort this all out without having to drag it all through the High Court again.' A spokesman for McNicholas Construction declined to comment.