Adam Frisby, CEO of In The Style has won his 18-month legal battle with Businessman Paul Clements. Paul claimed that the concept of the digital womenswear brand was his idea. However, the court ruled in favour of Frisby as they found there were no suitable agreements put in place in the early stages of the development of the business.
In The Style is a fast fashion enterprise which was founded 10 years ago by entrepreneur Adam Frisby using the monies he received from a redundancy pay out from his previous job at Burger King. In The Style is a digital womenswear fashion brand known for championing female empowerment, inclusivity, and body confidence. Adam spotted a gap in the market for celebrity led collections. This niche not only offered celebrities the opportunity to build collections suited to them but also enabled their following to purchase affordable, luxurious pieces. This combination enabled In The Style to grow and become a million-pound business which is now being floated on the Alternative Investments Market.
Paul Clements, who had been approached in the early stages of the business to invest circa £10,000, made a claim that a business plan (for the business) had been discussed with him, and, that he had entered into a Joint Venture with Mr Frisby’s then business partner, Ms Devine. Ms Devine exited the business before it achieved any success and Mr Frisby was the sole driving force taking the business to listed status.
Mr Clements claimed that it was his idea to market fast fashion to the younger generation on social media endorsed by celebrities and social media influencers, that he had told Ms Devine of his ‘business plan’ and he claimed that he had been told that his idea was not likely to succeed; only for Mr Frisby to then follow the plan and make a great success of the business.
With any new business or creative idea, it is imperative to have the necessary legal protections in place from the outset so that it is crystal clear who is involved and what benefits and opportunities they have introduced. In this instance the Court preferred Mr Frisby’s account of events, but, if matters had been as Mr Clements had claimed, the strong legal advice at the outset would have been (i) to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement before disclosing any valuable ideas; (ii) to formalise discussions and development of ideas; (iii) to enter into a Joint Venture Agreement/Partnership Agreement or Shareholder Agreement to regularise the relationship between the parties and to allocate input, effort, value and financial return.
Mr Clements’ claims were denied by Mr Frisby and Mr Clements was unsuccessful in his litigation and as a result of that failure it is reported that he was requested to pay substantial legal costs.
At Glenville Walker we strongly advise entrepreneurs and business owners to have suitable legal agreements in place to ensure all parties are protected and to avoid disputes, expensive legal claims and substantial legal costs. We have specialists who can support you and your business from the very beginning right through to sale and realisation of value.
If you would like any help and advice, please contact our specialist corporate and commercial litigation team on 0151 305 9650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is not intended to be interpreted as advice.