Friday 15 December 2017

High Court dispute between companies of father and son resolved

The Four Courts, Dublin
The Four Courts, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain

A dispute between a father and son over the naming of their firms has been resolved at the High Court.

Last week the High Court granted Duffy Commercials Ltd and Ultimo Ltd, whose founding director and shareholder is Arthur Duffy, a temporary injunction against his son Desmond Duffy, otherwise Dessie, trading as Dessie Duffy Cars & Commercials.

Lawyers for companies owned by Arthur Duffy said the action was brought because Dessie Duffy and his firm have been incorrectly passing themselves off as being part of his father's business.

The injunctions prevented the defendants holding themselves out as having any business, legal rights, interest or commercial involvement with Arthur Duffy's firms. They were granted on an ex-parte basis (one side only represented).

Arthur Duffy says the companies have been linked because his son's business website features various photographs of the father's business premises, giving the incorrect impression the businesses are connected.  There is no connection between the companies, he said.

A substantial part of Arthur Duffy's business, which includes vehicle sales and repairs, is the testing of the roadworthiness of heavy goods vehicles and light goods vehicles.

The plaintiff companies trade at Lisnasaran, Cootehill, Co Cavan while the defendant operates his car and commercial vehicle sales business at Muff, Canningstown, Cootehill, he said.

When the matter returned before the court on Tuesday Felix McEnroy SC, for the plaintiffs, said that thanks to discussions between solicitors representing the respective sides, the matter had been resolved. 

As part of the settlement it was agreed the court could make orders in terms including that the pictures of the fathers businesses were removed from the website. The court also made a declaration to the effect that the companies of the father and the son had no connection with each other.

Counsel said while the matter was very serious, his client had sought the orders as "a last resort" and the case was launched with "considerable regret."

The matter came before Mr Justice Donald Binchy, who welcomed the settlement.

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