In The Style boss wins High Court claim over company formation

Adam Frisby with influencer Stacey Solomon

The boss of Salford-based online fashion retailer, In The Style, has won a legal case over the name and concept of the business which floated on the Alternative Investment Market in March 2021, valued at £105m.

The High Court in Manchester, today, ruled firmly in favour of founder Adam Frisby in his case against Paul Clements, who had falsely claimed the name and concept of In The Style was his idea.

Adam Frisby, who created the womenswear brand in 2013, appeared in the High Court to address allegations that he stole the name and concept of the online fashion platform from claimant Paul Clements.

Clements had alleged in a claim launched in 2021 that he conceived the original idea for the company in 2013 and engaged Frisby to assist with developing In The Style shortly after.

The business floated in 2021 and Clements asserted that Mr Frisby should account to him for what was realised upon the floatation, and put that figure at £125m.

Following a five-day trial, the Court dismissed all of Clements’ claims as set out in a written judgment made public today (February 16).

In dismissing the proceedings, the Judge found that Clements played no part in the idea or development of In The Style and concluded it “likely” that In The Style’s stock-market flotation “formed the motivation” for Mr Clements asserting a claim against Adam Frisby.

TLT advised Adam Frisby and instructed leading counsel, Giles Maynard-Connor KC and junior, Stephen Connolly, of Exchange Chambers, Manchester.

The Court’s judgement read: “… I have come to the firm view that the narrative advanced by Mr Frisby is the true narrative, and that the narrative advanced by Mr Clements is a false one …. On this basis, I conclude by finding that the claim as advanced by Mr Clements should be dismissed.”

Adam Frisby said: “After what has been the most difficult and unimaginable few months of my life, I am so pleased and relieved that today the judge and the High Court have rightly ruled in my favour. The judgement confirmed I have told the entire truth and the claimant was lying in every aspect of the claim.

“Although I never doubted these fraudulent claims would be dismissed entirely, I cannot begin to tell you how gut-wrenching this process has been over the last 18 months. To know that someone has been trying to deceitfully undermine the story behind In The Style – one that I am so incredibly proud of – has been really hard to cope with.”

He added: “I have worked tirelessly over the last 10 years alongside the ITS team, our influencer partners, and our customers, whose fantastic support has helped to make In the Style the incredible brand it is today. Whilst it hurts that someone tried to take away from this story with a bare-faced lie, I am so thankful this nightmare is now over.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their kind messages and words in recent weeks. It has meant a lot to me throughout this incredibly difficult period.”

Julien Luke, partner at TLT said: “I am delighted with the judgment and this victory for Adam.

“His is a real success story, having started the business of In The Style in his bedroom and then working tirelessly to develop and grow it such that the business floated in 2021.

“The judgment vindicates Adam and his stance that he would not be intimidated into making payment in the face of this false claim. I am proud to have led the TLT team in order to achieve this fantastic result for our client.”