Parties in Web Summit legal disputes want cases to proceed to trial, court told

Agreements have largely been reached on various motions due to be heard in court this week

All parties involved in various linked disputes involving the Web Summit technology events firm want to swiftly conclude the document-sharing process so the cases can progress to trial, the High Court has been told.

Ms Justice Eileen Roberts was informed on Thursday of progress made during out-of-court discussions about various pre-trial motions seeking further and better discovery of information and records from opposing sides.

The motions, listed to be heard over three days this week, did not proceed, as she heard agreements have been largely reached in the complex discovery matters and a motion to amend Web Summit’s defence in one of the actions.

Bernard Dunleavy, senior counsel for Web Summit, its former chief executive Paddy Cosgrave, and his commercial entity Proto Roto, said the ambition of all involved in the discovery process is to “wrap it up, finish it, and move on to trial”.


Some of the matters have not been definitively resolved, or require court orders that have yet to be drafted, so he asked the court to schedule them on various dates this month and in January. The other parties consented to this request.

The court heard previously that more than 14 million documents have been collected as part of the discovery process in the suits and countersuits between Mr Cosgrave and the two other Web Summit co-founders: Daire Hickey and David Kelly.

Nearly five months ago, the head of the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Denis McDonald, expressed dismay that the document-sharing process in the actions was “dragging on for some time”.

His colleague, Mr Justice Mark Sanfey, ruled in July 2022 on earlier discovery motions between the parties.

Web Summit’s proceedings against Mr Kelly, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentation and co-opting of commercial opportunities, were issued in September 2021.

Mr Kelly and Mr Hickey, who respectively own 12 per cent and 7 per cent shares in the technology events firm, separately sued Web Summit’s holding firm Manders Terrace and Mr Cosgrave via their shareholding entities alleging oppression of shareholders’ rights.

They have also individually personally sued Mr Cosgrave and Manders Terrace claiming breach of an alleged profit share agreement.

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Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan

Ellen O'Riordan is an Irish Times reporter