German-based logistics firm Stinnes has been ordered to pay £50,000 plus costs to Palgrave Brown for its refusal to honour a business agreement.

The Leeds High Court case was based on allegations that Stinnes had encouraged Palgrave Brown to purchase Stinnes subsidiary RK Timber Ltd and had offered recompense should the deal fall through.

In a written judgement handed down last week Judge McGonigal ruled that Stinnes was bound by a promise to repay £50,000 as part of an acquisition deal. Palgrave Brown had produced evidence of telephone calls and letters in which Stinnes offered to refund Palgrave Brown’s costs up to the value of £50,000 if the bid was not successful.

Stinnes refused to pay up after its board rejected Palgrave Brown’s offer of £12m for RK Timber in favour of another bidder.

Palgrave Brown managing director Richard Fawcett said: ‘A promise is a promise and this was a case of a big company using its muscle to try and get away with it. So we’re delighted that they didn’t.’