Who's suing whom: Former Ronson bosses light up another claim

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The Independent Online
RONSON, the lighter company bought by Victor Kiam earlier this year, just can't seem to keep out of the legal news.

The company has just settled a claim for compensation for loss of office from its former chairman, Howard Hodgson, and his girlfriend, Christine Pickles.

Now it faces a multi-million pound claim for loss of earnings and damages from its former chief executive, Richard Furse, and his deputy, Lars Rydstrom.

Messrs Furse and Rydstrom left the company in July after Mr Kiam, the man who "liked Remington so much he bought the company", brought in some new directors. They claim they were constructively dismissed. Mr Kiam became executive chairman after they left.

The duo say they left Ronson because interference from other board members made it impossible for them effectively to manage the business. Ronson is currently in the middle of a pounds 8m rescue rights issue.

The two men are being represented by Reuben Berg, senior partner at Berg & Co, the Manchester solicitors. Mr Berg says there is clear evidence of "interference" from recently arrived board members, which made the positions of Mr Furse and Mr Rydstrom "completely untenable".

HISTORIC FOOTAGE of an emotional Princess Diana addressing a press conference in 1989 is among over a thousand hours of archive material now at the centre of a copyright row.

Independent Television News (ITN) is suing a film company over the copyright of news footage, including the Princess Diana film, the Orgreave mine dispute and the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, which ITN originally sold to the now defunct broadcasting company TV-am.

From 1983 to 1992 ITN had a contract to supply news footage to TV-am. TV-am stopped broadcasting and subsequently sold 1,100 hours of its own archive material to a third party, Movietonews.

Much of that included footage from ITN, the latter alleges. This summer Movietonews mailshot a promotional video about the material to a number of potential customers - including ITN.

ITN's writ lists examples of the disputed footage, including "Princess of Wales: Turning Point Conference - 17.5.1989" as well as "Orgreave mine dispute - Man in red shirt hit by policeman - 18.6.1984".

ITN wants an injunction stopping Movietonews from selling any material which originally emanated from ITN, as well as compensation.

TWO AMERICAN companies are suing Salomon Smith Barney in London over a total of $2m (pounds 1.2m) they entrusted to the investment bank in February to be invested for a period of three months, and which they now fear has disappeared - through no fault of Salomon's.

New World Industries of Nassau, Bahamas, demanded its $1m back from Salomon on eight occasions between April and June, to no avail. Paradise America, incorporated in Nevada but sharing New World's registered office in Boca Raton, Florida, also demanded its own $1m back twice in June, again without success, it alleges.

They claim Salomon "through no apparent fault of its own, is mixed up in the wrongful acts" of a trio of intermediaries. Back in February New World signed an agreement with Lewis A Rivlin and the Metropolitan Bishop of Limassol under which $1m was deposited with Salomon. The money was invested through Hedley Finance Limited, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and having a branch office in Athens.

The two investors claim that Hedley used the funds for its own purposes, "acted dishonestly and perpetrated a fraud upon" them. They want Salomon to hand over all documents and information about the investment as well as any profits the bank might have made.

THE LIQUIDATORS of a north London car dealership are trying to reclaim a cheque for pounds 31,799.42 made payable to the dealership but which instead found its way into a similarly named account belonging to someone else.

On 17 September 1992 the cheque, from Hibernian Insurance and payable to "UK Automotive Trading Limited", was paid into the account of "Autoconnection Limited" at a Barclays Bank branch inEdmonton.

The liquidator of UK Automotive Trading, Ninos Koumettou of Alexander Lawson & Co, is claiming the money back from both Autoconnection and Barclays.