Belfast Telegraph

Judge urges 'resolution' in dispute between businessman and financial expert

A billionaire British businessman and a wealthy French financial expert should make "genuine efforts" to resolve a multi-million High Court dispute, a judge has said.

The dispute, involving John Caudwell - who founded the mobile phone firm Phones4u - and Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe, "cries out for resolution" according to Chief Master Matthew Marsh.

Bosses at money management firm Signia Wealth, which is controlled by a Caudwell family trust, have sued Mrs Dauriac-Stoebe.

They say she misused expenses when working at the firm.

She says she was constructively dismissed - and lost more than £10 million worth of shares.

All sides dispute allegations made against them.

Lawyers say any trial is likely to be staged next year.

Chief Master Marsh examined a number of case management issues at a High Court hearing in London in July.

And the judge has urged all parties to settle their differences in a preliminary written ruling.

"This type of claim cries out for a resolution," he said.

"Whether the parties are able to achieve that is very much a matter for them."

He added: "The court expects the parties to make genuine efforts to resolve this claim."

The judge gave a number of directions relating to how any litigation should proceed.

He heard that lawyers' bills could top £4 million.

Mrs Dauriac-Stoebe, who is in her late 30s, had been at the hearing.

Mr Caudwell, who is in his early 60s and grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, did not attend.