Firm with designs on Man United

who's suing whom
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The Independent Online
RUPERT MURDOCH'S takeover attempt was not Manchester United's only worry this weekend. The football club and Jakob Stam, the most expensive defender in the world at pounds 10.5m, are suing a Manchester businessman after he registered the right to use the trademark "Jaap Stam" on shirts, caps and a host of other products.

Robert Kershaw, who runs "Kershaw Rose" together with his partner Jennifer Rose in Frodsham, Cheshire, said yesterday that although he had not seen Manchester United's writ yet they could "do nothing about" his use of the footballer's name.

Mr Kershaw said yesterday: "I caught drift that United were going to sign Jaap Stam from the European papers, and thought, `why not?' I registered 29 trademarks, including `Jaap Stam', `Stam 1', `Jaap Stam Sports and Leisure Limited' and so on."

The businessman, whose nine-year-old firm forms limited companies and provides offshore banking services, is unrepentant: "We've got 20,000 [Jaap Stam] shirts to go within the next 10 days and 10,000 base ball caps. An Asian friend of mine from Wolverhampton is producing them."

Manchester United first contacted Mr Kershaw about the matter three weeks ago, he says. "I sent them a price list."

On Tuesday the club and Jakob Stam together issued a writ in London's High Court through their solicitors James Chapman & Co of Manchester. The writ calls for injunctions against Mr Kershaw requiring to him to change the names in the registrations, so that they no longer include the name "Jaap Stam". The writ also applies for damages.

FORTE (UK) Ltd has applied to repossess part of the Cafe Royal in London's Regent Street which was used by "Cheers", a theme bar based on the American TV series, which went bust a fortnight ago.

The bar "where everybody knows your name" was brought to London a year ago by the entrepreneur Alan Panlilo, but failed to take off. Now Forte has issued a writ in the High Court to repossess the brasserie and bar on the ground floor and basement of the Cafe Royal.

A spokeswoman for Forte, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Granada, said last week: "The Cafe Royal is ours - it's part of our portfolio. The part of it where Cheers was, we want to lease."

The receivers to Cheers UK Limited, Peter Copp and Geoff Kinlon of BDO Stoy Hayward's London office, were unavailable for comment.

The claim by Forte is due to be heard in the High Court in front of Master Bowman this morning.

Forte has retained Gerry Aylott of solicitors Paisner & Co, while the receivers to Cheers are using Dibb Lupton Alsop's London office.

When the Cheers theme bar went into receivership last month Paramount Pictures, which holds the licence for the TV series, said it was confident that the bar would be sold as a going concern.

THE OWNERS of a business building in Great Queen Street, London, have issued a writ to repossess the premises from Mohammed Abdur Rashid, who went bankrupt on 19 February this year.

The lease of the ground floor and basement of 35, Great Queen Street, dates back to 23 September 1988, when the Right Honourable Christopher Hiley Ludlow Viscount Bledisloe QC, and the Right Honourable Barry Owen Somerset Baron Farnham, leased the premises.

The lease was then taken over by Alfredo Moruzzi and Bernard Zucconi, and it subsequently passed to Mr Rashid on 12 January 1990.

The owners issued a writ for repossession on 24 April 1998 in the Queen's Bench division of the High Court. The writ was then transferred to the Chancery Division last week.

The owners, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Neil Gordon Thorne OBE TD DL and The Rev Peter Hemingway, give their address on the writ as Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London. They issued the writ through their solicitors Wedlake Bell.

The writ claims that the lease contains a proviso for re-entry into the property if the rent goes into arrears for 21 days or if the tenant goes bankrupt.

The writ says that Mr Rashid fulfilled both conditions, going bankrupt and failing to pay arrears of rent of pounds 8,125.

According to the writ the only other party with an interest in the lease is the Bank for Credit and Commerce International SA, the bank that was put into liquidation by regulators in 1991 after massive long term fraud had been discovered.

PRINCE JEFRI BOLKIAH, the younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei, has issued a writ dated 24 August against the accountancy firm KPMG.

At a brief hearing last Wednesday at the High Court in the Strand, the parties agreed to a lengthier hearing this week, to be held either on Wednesday or Thursday.

The writ, which was issued through the solicitors Lovell White Durrant, seeks an injunction to restrain KPMG from supplying sensitive information about Prince Jefri to a third party.

Prince Jefri is concerned that sensitive information gleaned by KPMG when they were working for him last year may now be divulged to the Government of Brunei, which has recently launched an investigation into the Prince's finances. The Government has retained KPMG to compile a report on Prince Jefri's finances, and he claims this is a conflict of interest. The writ is the result.

The Prince's claim is for an injunction to restrain KPMG from "using or disclosing any confidential information (whether in the form of documents or otherwise) of the Plaintiff pertaining to his personal or financial affairs; and/or directing, counseling, procuring or authorising any other person, firm or company to do any of the aforesaid acts".

The writ also claims "damages for misuse of confidential information, together with an order for the payment of all sums found due."

CONQUEST INNS of Enfield, Middlesex, is suing the Master, Fellows and Scholars of Jesus College Cambridge over a lease of an un-named building. Conquest Inns is demanding a declaration from the High Court that the college is not entitled to forfeit the lease and that the College cannot obejct to an underlease granted by Conquest to one AW Mosely on 5 November 1997.

Conquest Inns issued the writ on 28 August through Eversheds, agents for its lawyers Kimbell & Co of Milton Keynes.

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