Lonrho free to sue Fayeds

Click to follow
THE WAR of words in the courts continued yesterday between Lonrho and the Fayed brothers, who beat Lonrho to control of the House of Fraser stores group in 1985, writes John Moore.

In the Court of Appeal, Lonrho won the right to sue the brothers for financial loss over an alleged 'dirty tricks' campaign fought since they gained control of the stores group, which owns Harrods. The court overruled a High Court judge's decision to strike out Lonrho's claim as 'an abuse of the process of the court'.

But it refused to reinstate personal damage claims by 'Tiny' Rowland, Lonrho's joint chief executive, and its former chairman, Sir Edward du Cann, which were also struck out a year ago. Lords Justice Dillon, Stuart-Smith and Evans ruled that if they and Lonrho wanted to claim damages for injury to reputation or feelings they must launch a separate defamation action.

The bitter feud between the two sides has been going on since 1985 when Mohamed and Ali Fayed snatched the House of Fraser stores group from under Mr Rowland's nose. They announced plans this week to float the group, less Harrods, next year.

Lord Justice Dillon said yesterday there was a great temptation to say 'a plague on both your houses and let not the court's time be wasted with any further litigation' apart from the main action scheduled for next year over the circumstances of the Fraser takeover.

The Fayeds say they have merely counter-attacked, in self-defence, to halt Lonrho's campaign against them.