Dispute over distillery and gin school comes before High Court

Raymond and Juliet Gogan’s action aimed at preventing removal as directors of Listoke Distillery

A shareholders dispute over the running of a distillery and gin school established on the grounds of the Listoke Estate in Co Louth has come before the High Court.

A shareholders dispute over the running of a distillery and gin school established on the grounds of the Listoke Estate in Co Louth has come before the High Court.

 

A shareholders dispute over the running of a distillery and gin school established on the grounds of the Listoke Estate in Co Louth has come before the High Court.

The action by Raymond and Juliet Gogan is aimed at preventing their removal as directors of Listoke Distillery Ltd.

The couple, owners of Listoke House outside Drogheda, are shareholders and directors of the company, incorporated in 2016. The distillery and gin school, where people learn about making gin, had been located at the stable block area of Listoke House and had proven very successful, it is claimed. It produces and markets the Listoke 1777 brand of gin and it had been decided to expand the business, they claim.

Mr Gogan was the firm’s production director, while Ms Gogan, a descendant of famous familes synonmous with Irish and Scotch whiskey making incuding the Jamesons, Haigs, Cairnes and the Steins, took responsibility for the gin school.

Their counsel James McGowan told the court on Friday relations between shareholders deteriorated in 2017 and the couple contend their position in the company is being undermined.

Affairs

They claim the company’s affairs are being conducted in a manner oppressive to them and in disregard of their interests as shareholders. The couple felt they were being left out of important company decisions and, in November, 2017, they were locked out of the business, counsel said.

Unable to carry out her duties in relation to the gin school, Mrs Gogan resigned her position, he said. Counsel said, without informing his clients, a decision was taken by the other shareholders to move the production side of the business and the gin school to an industrial estate.

As a result, the Gogans want various orders against the company and the other shareholders: Bronagh Conlon, James McKenna, Sean Norris and Susan Norris, he said.

They want orders preventing their removal as directors of the company; giving them reasonable access to the company’s books and records and restraining the company holding a general meeting of the company next Monday.

Counsel said it is proposed at that meeting to remove the couple as directors. Other orders sought include one recommending the use of an alternative dispute resolution process or, if necessary, an order winding up the company. Ms Justice Carmel Stewart granted the ex parte application (one side only represented) to serve short notice of the proceedings on their fellow shareholders and the company and returned the matter to next week.