McGrigors and Bevan Brittan win Gadget Shop spat

McGrigors and Bevan Brittan are celebrating after winning the high-profile Gadget Shop litigation for entrepeneurs Tom Hunter, Jim McMahon and Chris Gorman.

Mr Justice Warren handed down judgment this morning (21 December) in favour of the defendants.

Warren J threw out the claim brought by Freeserve founder Peter Wilkinson and UBS banker Jon Wood, represented by Hammonds’ partner Simon Miller. The claimants and the defendants were all shareholders in the collapsed Gadget Shop, which was put into administration earlier this year.

Wilkinson and Wood said that they were entitled to a share of the business when Hunter and Gorman acquired greetings card chain Birthdays. The chain was later sold to Clinton Cards at a loss.

But Warren J preferred the defendants’ evidence that Birthdays was a private acquisition and the Gadget Shop was not used as an acquisition vehicle.

A hearing in January 2006 will determine the costs payable by Wilkinson and Wood.

McGrigors’ Katharine Davies instructed One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC for Hunter, McMahon and other defendants including venture capital firm West Coast Capital. Bevan Brittan partner Tim Boyce instructed John McCaughrean QC, also of One Essex Court, for Gorman.

3/4 South Square’s Michael Crystal QC was instructed by Hammonds for the claimants.