Resolution reached in dispute over €500,000 worth of jewels

Parties agree proceedings could be adjourned for three weeks with injunction to remain in place

An agreement has been reached to resolve a High Court dispute between an Irish-based jewellery business and an Italian distributor over €500,000 worth of jewels.

World Diamond Group SPA (WDG) had sued Shuwan Li, otherwise Mooney, trading as Empress Fine Jewels and Empress Fine Jewels Limited.

Last month WDG secured an injunction over the defendant’s alleged refusal to return a consignment of goods to WDG worth €585,000.

The injunction restrains the defendants from selling, disposing of or dealing with the consigned goods supplied by WDG.


The defendants had rejected all claims of wrongdoing against them and had unsuccessfully attempted to have the injunction dismissed.

On Tuesday, Hugh Byrne BL, appearing with Barney Quirke SC, instructed by Ellen Wrynn of Harrington’s Solicitors, for WDG, said that following out-of-court discussions the parties had reached an agreement to resolve the dispute.

While no details of the agreement were given in open court, counsel said the parties had agreed the proceedings could be adjourned for three weeks with the injunction to remain in place. Counsel said it is also envisaged that when the matter returns before the court, the case will be further adjourned to a date in January of next year.

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Ruaidhri Giblin BL, appearing with Peter Shanley BL instructed by solicitor Brian O’Brien, said their clients, the defendants, were consenting to the proposals.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey welcomed news of the agreement and adjourned the case to a date next month.

WDG sought the injunction after its lawyers told the court that the commercial relationship between the parties, which had commenced doing business in 2019, had broken down.

Shuwan Li, it was claimed, runs her jewellery business from Johnstons Court in Dublin 2. The other defendant is a company linked to Ms Li.

WDG claimed that difficulties arose between the parties over money allegedly owed to it for goods supplied to Ms Li’s business.

Negotiations took place between the parties, and arrangements to repay what was allegedly owed were put in place, it was claimed.

After becoming concerned about the repayments, WDG said it ended its commercial relationship with Ms Li and sought the return of goods it had advanced to her business.

Arising out of an alleged refusal to return a consignment of jewellery supplied last year, WDG commenced proceedings against the defendants.

As well as seeking the return of the goods, it also sought damages, a declaration that WDG is the owner of the goods, and judgment against the defendants for a separate sum of €155,000 which it claims it is owed for other goods supplied to the defendants.

The defendants disputed the amount of money WDG claimed it is owed, and denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Li claimed the real reason behind the action was because late last year the plaintiff’s chief executive, Castrenze Giuliano, had ended a four-year romantic relationship between them.

It was claimed that he ended it because he commenced a relationship with another person.

Ms Li claimed the goods WDG sought the return of accounted for 40 per cent of her business’s stock and that she could not trade without it.

The plaintiff denied the claims.

Lawyers for WDG said it was accepted that Mr Giuliano had an intimate relationship with Ms Li, but claimed it was not of the nature depicted by her.

WDG claimed that it, and not Mr Giuliano, had brought the proceedings over the goods it supplied to Ms Li’s business, and the action was not about the ending of any romantic relationship as alleged.