Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell will contest the £9.5m bill demanded by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the watchdog has confirmed.
Chappell, who bought the failing retail store in 2015 for just £1, will ask the Upper Tribunal to strike out the two contribution notices handed out by the watchdog's determinations panel in January.
The date for the hearing is yet to be set, but it will string out TPR's engagement yet even further, more than two and a half years since BHS collapsed in 2016.
A spokesperson for TPR said: "Our anti-avoidance action against Dominic Chappell continues. On 15 January 2018, TPR's Determinations Panel determined that two contribution notices (in the total sum of circa £9.5m) be issued against Dominic Chappell.
"Under the Pensions Act 2004, Dominic Chappell had 28 days to refer that decision to the Upper Tribunal; he has now made that reference."
Chappell is still engaged in a separate ongoing legal wrangle. In February, he was ordered to pay £87,000 after a magistrates' court found he had deliberately failed to hand over information the watchdog needed as part of its BHS investigation. Chappell is appealing the conviction and is due to appear in court again on 17 September.
Meanwhile, the Insolvency Service is considering whether Chappell should be disqualified with a potential directorship ban of 15 years.
The confirmation of the appeal came as ITV reported TPR believes Chappell was aware that BHS was bust when he bought the company, and therefore should have funded the acquisition himself rather than take fees out of BHS.
According to Press Association sources, around £8m of the contribution notice demand relates to professional fees paid to Grant Thornton, Olswang, and others, as well as £1.5m Chappell extracted for himself.
TPR declined to comment on the reports.
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