A major dispute has broken out between Bovis and Exterior Profiles, the former cladding contractor on its troubled Bridgewater Place project in Leeds, it emerged this week.

It has emerged that Exterior Profiles, of Luton, Bedfordshire, asked for advice from police after its contract at Bridgewater Place was terminated by Bovis last September after a row over payment. However, the police declared it to be a civil rather than a criminal matter. This was one of the projects Bovis blamed for a £48m writedown last month.

Exterior Profiles entered into a company voluntary agreement with its creditors in December.

Gary Heywood, the managing director of Exterior Profiles, said speculation that the company has been in administration at any time since its formation in 1984 was false. He also denied it had gone into liquidation at any time.

Heywood added that he had been surprised to read in Building two weeks ago that Murray Coleman, chief executive of Bovis, appeared to be claiming that his firm was in liquidation.

Exterior Profiles has worked for Bovis on several other projects, including the Lowrie Centre in Manchester.

Bovis brought in Neil Martin, a legal expert from Australia, who is head of global risk. It is also believed that Colin Harvey, Bovis’ director for the north, has been instructed to take a strong stand over any legal action at Bridgewater Place.

Building understands that Bovis expects to come under fire from two other subcontractors over non-payment on projects.

A Bovis spokesperson said it would not enter into discussions over legal issues. She said: “Colin Harvey is the Bovis director of the north and there is no change regarding his involvement in the Bridgewater Place development.

“Neil Martin is the global head of risk and is in the UK at the moment working with the business. He is not focusing solely on Bridgewater Place.”