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International law firm Trowers & Hamlins has successfully represented Hasan Dalkilic and Sevim Pekin in relation to their claims for declaratory relief against another family member for the ownership of shares in Paragon Quality Foods Limited, a leading manufacturer of burgers and other food products.

The dispute, which was brought forward by two family members, centred on claims that the main shareholder actively froze out wider family members and denied them their collective 35% stake in the business. One Claimant helped to establish Paragon in 1995 and supported it whilst the other received a shareholding following her divorce from another founding partner. The Claimants entrusted the running of the business to their nephew who was the sole director and shareholder for administrative purposes. However, in defending the proceedings, the nephew asserted he was the sole founder and beneficial owner of the business which by now had significant value. 

The claim was complicated by the fact that the key witnesses were largely drawn from a close knit community where business arrangements are rarely reduced to writing and included allegations of significant cash payments and the movement of monies abroad to third parties.  

Partner Navinder Grover who led the Trowers team on the dispute, commented:

"We are very pleased to have achieved a successful outcome for our clients. The trial presented a number of challenges due to international aspect of the dispute as well as the difficulties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, so we are delighted to have overcome these and delivered a positive result. Our clients' success is a great reward for the excellent team at Trowers who worked tirelessly on this throughout." 

Trowers team: Navinder Grover, Emily Aggett, Kelly Matthews, Natasha Kaulsay, Saloni Malde