Judge slams Hammonds letter in Gadget Shop ruling

Mr Justice Warren handed a stinging rebuke to Hammonds and its client Peter Wilkinson, the founder of Freeserve, in his judgment of the high-profile Gadget Shop administration case.

Warren J referred to a letter that Hammonds had written to defendant solicitors McGrigors. Among other allegations, the letter accused McGrigors’ clients of trying to “preclude any public light being shone upon” their conduct.

The judge said: “That is an entirely inappropriate and inadmissable attitude to the resolution of litigation.”

On 21 December, Warren J threw out the claim brought by Hammonds’ clients Wilkinson and UBS banker Jon Wood against fellow shareholders in the Gadget Shop, which went into administration last year.

Hammonds partner Simon Miller instructed 3/4 South Square’s Michael Crystal QC. Miller commented: “This case is important in relation to the position of minority shareholders in private companies. Our clients are disappointed by the outcome of the case and will be reviewing all of the options available to them. It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.”