Business Irish

Sunday 17 November 2019

Mediation bearing fruit in dispute between ring makers, court told

Andrew Fried seeks orders from the court, including one prohibiting his brother and others from contacting the company's suppliers, and that either Philip sells him his stake in the company or buys him out (stock photo)
Andrew Fried seeks orders from the court, including one prohibiting his brother and others from contacting the company's suppliers, and that either Philip sells him his stake in the company or buys him out (stock photo)

Aodhan O'Faolain

Progress is being made in the mediation of a long-running dispute between members of a family whose firm sells and makes jewellery, including the world-famous Claddagh rings, the High Court has heard.

The row involves brothers Andrew and Philip Fried, who are shareholders of Claddagh Jewellers Ltd, which operates stores in Galway and Dublin, as well as selling online.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds yesterday.

Brian Conroy BL, for Andrew Fried, said that following a mediation conducted by retired judge Paul Gilligan, the parties had agreed a "resolution in principle".

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However, there were still several steps to be taken, counsel said. All the parties involved were asking the court to adjourn the actions to see if matters can be finally resolved. The judge, welcoming that progress had been made, agreed to adjourn the proceedings for a month.

Andrew, of Leac Lian, Barna, Co Galway, has brought proceedings against Philip, who he claims has in conjunction with his father Laszlo - who is not a shareholder or director of the firm - attempted to interfere with and frustrate the company's business.

Andrew Fried seeks orders from the court, including one prohibiting his brother and others from contacting the company's suppliers, and that either Philip sells him his stake in the company or buys him out.

He also seeks a declaration that Philip's actions are in disregard to and are oppressive to Andrew Fried's capacity as a member of the company. The claims are denied.

In separate proceedings, Philip claims Andrew and a company, Claddagh Ring Ltd, have breached his trademark.

Philip Fried of Thornberry, Barna, Galway, also claims that he is the sole owner of the trademark 'Claddagh Jewellers'. He seeks various orders and declarations, including one restraining Andrew and Claddagh Ring Ltd from infringing what he (Philip) claims is his trademark.

Another party to the mediation are joint receivers Michael McAteer and Aengus Burns, who were appointed over the premises from which Claddagh Jewellers Ltd trades from in Mainguard Street, Galway in 2013.

The receivers are involved in another set of proceedings involving Laszlo Fried, father of Andrew and Philip Fried.

Irish Independent

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