Jewellers court case involving Galway family adjourned to allow mediation

Galway Bay fm newsroom:

A dispute between members of a Galway family whose firm sells and makes jewellery including the world-famous Claddagh rings has been adjourned to facilitate a mediation.

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 its products online.

Andrew Fried claims his brother has attempted to interfere with the company’s business.

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

The matter was mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds, who adjourned the matter to October after being informed that both sides were open to mediation.

According to the Judge, certain undertakings previously offered to the court are to remain in place.

A separate, but related, application was made to the court by Michael McAteer and Aengus Burns who were appointed joint receivers over the premises from which the company trades from in Galway.

The joint receivers sought permission from the court to obtain the papers in the case.

Marcus Dowling for the joint receivers said that the application was being made arising out of his client’s concerns after reading reports about the case in the media.

His clients are involved in proceedings against Laszlo Fried, who is the father of Andrew and Philip Freid, and companies Lazlo Jewellers Ltd, Jaszai Ltd, and Claddagh Jewellers Ltd.

Financial fund Promontoria (Aran), which acquired the loans from Ulster Bank, claims in those proceedings that it is owed €16m which due to a failure to repay the balance of loans advanced by Ulster Bank to Laszlo Fried and Jaszai approximately 10 years ago.

Counsel said his clients were appointed receivers over a property in Maingaurd Street in Galway from where the company trades since 2013, from which to date no rent has been paid to the receivers.

Permission to bring the application was granted by Judge Reynolds, who adjourned that matter to next week.

Andrew Fried, 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 nor a director of the firm, attempted to interfere with and frustrate the company’s business.

Andrew Fried claims that Philip Fried, along with his father had for some time have been interfering with the company’s suppliers.

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 total disregard to and are oppressive to Andrew Fried capacity as a member of the company.

The claims are denied.

In separate, but related, proceedings against Andrew Fried and Claddagh Ring Ltd, Mr Philip Fried of Thornberry, Barna, Galway claims that he is the sole owner of the trademark “Claddagh Jewellers”.

In that action, Philip Fried, represented by Stephen Moran Bl, seeks various orders and declarations including one restraining his brother and the company from infringing what he Philip claims is his trademark.