Clothing group Marchpole Holdings Plc, which is behind the Yves St Laurent and Jasper Conran men's wear labels, has started legal proceedings against fashion designer Ozwald Boateng and his company Bespoke Couture Limited for an alleged breach of contract.

The allegation relates to the contract for a licensed Boateng diffusion range produced by Marchpole subsidiary Artpower Limited.

According to Marchpole, the designer should have ended an agreement to sell his O-Z branded clothing through Debenhams when the Marchpole range went on sale a year ago. Instead, the O-Z clothing is said to have remained on sale, which undermined Marchpole's profits.

The directors at Bespoke Couture Limited maintain that both Marchpole and Artpower Limited have fulfilled the obligations under the licensing deal.