State of 'malaise' and poor performance 'was accepted' at Egerton House Hotel
A STATE of "malaise" and poor performance was accepted at one of Bolton's top hotels, a tribunal heard.
The tribunal was told that the performance had been allowed by Jan Hampton, the then manager of Egerton House Hotel.
But the former owner also told a hearing she was subjected to a campaign of “bully-boy tactics” and harassment by her fellow directors.
Ms Hampton was an employee of Egerton House Hotel Bolton Ltd as well as a director and minority shareholder of the business before she was removed in 2012.
She is claiming unfair dismissal against her fellow directors, Chris Wayne-Wills and James Davidson.
Ms Hampton originally acquired the 29-room hotel in 2003 with the backing of Macdonald Hotels, but the hotel giant took control of the Egerton House in October, 2010, by changing the type of shares it owned.
Ms Hampton claims she was bullied into this compromise agreement and then harassed by Mr Davidson while on holiday in Australia.
She said: “There was a campaign of bully-boy tactics to make me agree to the change in shares.
“Eventually I agreed to a compromise agreement because I heard from the bank who would not provide any more funding. I was backed into a corner.”
Ms Hampton said she was then “bombarded with calls” from Mr Davidson, regarding a re-financing agreement, while at her brother’s wedding in Australia, something she said left her “devastated and terrified”.
Mr Davidson previously denied calling Ms Hampton during that period, stating that he did not have her number.
She responded by saying: “Of course, he had my number.”
Earlier in the case, Ms Hampton claimed her dismissal came about because she made allegations of fraud and wrongdoing regarding the hotel’s accounts and because she refused to re-brand it as a Macdonald hotel.
Mr Davidson and Mr Wayne-Wills deny this and say that Ms Hampton was dismissed from the company because of continued poor performance.
Euan Smith, representing Mr Davidson and Mr Wayne-Wills, said Ms Hampton was aware of the concerns of her fellow directors about her performance in running the hotel from an early stage.
He said: “There is a letter from February, 2011, in which Mr Wayne-Wills talks of a general malaise that surrounds the hotel and is accepted as normal by your staff and, more importantly, you.”
He added that this and subsequent letters could have left Ms Hampton in no doubt that her fellow directors were focusing on her individual position.
The hotel closed in January this year. The tribunal, being held in Manchester, continues.
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