Mediator proposed in cinema group row
Lawyers for Paul Anderson, whose family owns half of the Ward Anderson cinema group, have suggested a senior commercial barrister as a mediator to try to resolve the row with his cousin Paul Ward, whose family owns the other half.
The row, described by a High Court judge as “extraordinarily bitter”, centres on the Dublin Cinema Group, which runs the Savoy and Screen cinemas in Dublin. Law firm William Fry, for Mr Anderson, wrote to Mr Ward’s solicitors Mason Hayes Curran on Monday suggesting commercial lawyer Bill Shipsey SC as a mediator.
Mr Anderson’s solicitors said Mr Shipsey was available to mediate on November 13th or November 20th. William Fry told Mr Ward’s solicitors that Mr Anderson was committed to resolving their differences through mediation instead of seeking to wind up the group in the courts.
Mr Anderson had felt compelled to seek the winding-up “in the absence of any other way of progressing matters”, his solicitors said. “If your client has any interest in pursuing a mediation at this stage, kindly let us know his date preferences so that each side has sufficient time to arrange for the attendance of any necessary advisers,” the firm told Mr Ward’s solicitors.
The group is effectively owned 50-50 by the Ward and Anderson families. The family dispute has been building for years but spilled into the courts last year when Mr Ward took a legal action arising from Mr Anderson’s deal to develop a cinema in the St Stephen’s Green shopping centre in Dublin in 2009 outside of the group. An attempt at mediation in April failed.