Gordon Ramsay nets $4.5million after winning legal battle

Gordon Ramsay nets $4.5million payout after winning eight-year legal battle with ex-business partner of LA-based Fat Cow restaurant who judge ruled was ‘incompetent’ and took ‘kickbacks’ from suppliers

  • British chef, 55, founded The Fat Cow with Rowan Seibel, 40, in a LA mall in 2012
  • Went bust and Seibel sued Ramsay for $10.8m (£8.7m) over a property dispute 
  • Seibel must pay Ramsay $1.6m (£1.3m) and most of his $5m (£4.1m) legal fees  

Gordon Ramsay has won a $4.5million (£3.6m) payout following an eight-year legal battle with a former business partner who a judge ruled was ‘incompetent’ and took ‘kickbacks’ from suppliers. 

The British chef, 55, entered into a bitter war with Rowan Seibel, 40, after they fell out over a dispute relating to The Fat Cow, a restaurant in Los Angeles that they founded together in 2012. 

Judge Melissa Crane has now ruled in favour of Ramsay and his company, GR US, and ordered Seibel to pay $1.6m (£1.3m) as well as 50 to 70 per cent of his rival’s $5m (£4.1m) worth of legal fees, Page Six reported. 


Ramsay, 55, entered into a bitter war with Rowan Seibel, 40, after they fell out over a dispute relating to The Fat Cow, a restaurant in Los Angeles that they founded together in 2012

Ramsay and Seibel opened The Fat Cow in 2012, but when it closed two years later Seibel sued Ramsay for $10.8m (£8.7m), claiming he had ‘deliberately mishandled a trademark problem’ for the restaurant before ‘forming a new company with new partners and then secretly negotiated a deal with his Los Angeles landlord’ to open a new eatery on the same site.  

Ramsay counterclaimed, claiming Seibel was orchestrating a ‘fraudulent scheme to freeload upon the renown and acumen of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.’

He also called him ‘inept,’ ‘self-dealing,’ ‘incompetent and dishonest’ and claimed he ‘begged to be included’ but ‘proved egregiously inept in its management.’

The New York court found Seibel had taken kickbacks from suppliers and withdrawn money from the restaurant’s bank accounts when the business was failing. 

Ramsay and Seibel opened The Fat Cow in 2012, but when it closed two years later Seibel sued Ramsay for $10.8m (£8.7m)

Ramsay was sued by The Fat Cow staff members in a class action in 2013, where it was alleged they were paid below minimum wage and not given proper breaks.

Judge Crane agreed with some criticism of Ramsay but said in her judgment: ‘Bottom line, the record reflects that Seibel engaged in wilful misconduct, where the Ramsay side was merely negligent at worst.’  

A spokesman for Ramsay said: ‘Mr Ramsay was earnest in his efforts to sever all business dealings as these problems with Seibel were discovered, and we’re pleased but in no way surprised by the ruling.’ 

A lawyer for Seibel said he plans to appeal. 

The Fat Cow’s menu was described by Ramsay as what you might expect to find in a ‘neighbourhood restaurant’

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