A High Court injunction, obtained by well-known Irish ballet dancer Monica Loughman against her former business partner, is to remain in place until a dispute between them is determined by the court.
Ms Loughman, of The Courtyard, Castleside Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin, brought proceedings against her fellow shareholder and former partner Fraser Brown in respect of the Monica Loughman Ballet Company Ltd which was set up in 2011.
The company operates a school and carries out a wide range of activities in relation to ballet and, the court heard, had been Ireland’s largest ballet company with a roster of more than 50 dancers.
Last month she secured a temporary High Court injunction aimed at preventing Mr Brown from terminating her employment with the company or from having the company liquidated. Mr Brown was also prevented from interfering with her work as a ballet teacher and the property and equipment necessary to carry out her work.
Mr Brown, of Willow Park Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, who represented himself in court, had previously indicated his opposition to the injunction. However, agreement was reached between the parties on a revised injunction.*
When the matter was returned before Ms Justice Marie Baker at the High Court, barrister Benedict Ó Floinn, counsel for Ms Loughman, said that following talks with Mr Brown there was agreement between the parties that steps would be taken to ensure the case was heard as soon as possible.
Mr Ó Floinn said there was also consent that the injunction would remain in place till the action has been determined by the court. He said a formal statement of claim would be served on Mr Brown in three weeks, and he could then file a defence to Ms Loughman’s claim.
Ms Justice Baker said she was satisfied to adjourn the matter on that basis.
Ms Loughman alleges in her proceedings that, following the end of their personal relationship, Mr Brown agreed he would no longer be part of the business. She alleged that Mr Brown, who acted as the company’s finance manager, refused to disengage from the company or from her life generally. She feared that, arising out of Mr Brown’s alleged actions, her reputation in Ireland and internationally would be damaged.
In a sworn statement, Ms Loughman said she met Mr Brown, a diamond dealer, in 2010. He had assisted her with administrative and financial matters connected with the ballet company and they had lived together until unhappy differences had arisen in 2014.
Ms Loughman alleges Mr Brown continued to control the company and passes off his actions as those of hers. She claimed his alleged actions had made it impossible to maintain and recruit customers and deal with creditors.
She stated she had received letters from him which purported to terminate her connections with the company.
The court had heard Ms Loughman is well known for her work promoting ballet and as a writer and a television presenter. She had left Ireland to join the Perm State Ballet in Russia aged 14 and set up a ballet company on her return to Ireland.
She had appeared in an Irish TV series called Ballet Chancers which introduced six people who had no previous engagement with ballet to the popular form of dance.
*This article was edited on November 12th, 2015