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Michel and Michel [2019] EWHC 1378

There is always an element of sadness when reviewing cases involving shareholder disputes: very often a successful company is being seriously damaged by a toxic concoction saturating the relationships between the owners.

That sadness is certainly no less when it is a family being torn apart by the bitterness of long remembered grievances. When the family has as rich a history as in this case, there is even greater cause for dismay.

Helmut Michel was born in Germany of Jewish parents; following the advice of a far-seeing uncle, Leopold Kahn, and furnished with a loan from him of £400, he escaped the horrors of the Shoah which were to overwhelm Germany’s Jewish community, by moving to the UK in 1931. In 1932 he set up a business in London which manufactured cosmetic applicator products. The business was named after Helmut’s uncle.