Keystone Law has achieved a momentous victory for the inventors of award-winning water recycling shower in their High Court shareholder dispute against Bathroom Brands Holdings UK Limited (BBHUK). The High Court found BBHUK guilty of unfair prejudice and killing off technology that was described as an “iPhone moment” for the bathroom industry.
Commercial litigation partner Matthew Reach successfully represented the inventors, Peter Brewin and Nicolas Christy, in their High Court petition for unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.
The water recycling shower had won international awards and funding, including a Dyson Award, the BSI Sustainable Design Award, the Green Challenge Award and a British Standards Institution Environmental Design Award.
Mr Brewin and Mr Christy’s technology had huge promise for today’s eco-conscious world where clean-water scarcity is a key issue. Their water recycling shower took small volumes of water in from the mains and reused it in real time by collecting water from the shower tray, cleaning it, reheating it and then recirculating the clean water to the showerhead. The recycling shower experience was said to be indistinguishable from a normal shower.
The High Court’s findings centred on BBHUK’s 2014 commitment to fund the water recycling shower to mass production and subsequent conduct that destroyed the business, leaving the pioneering eco-technology for dead. The High Court found that BBHUK’s directors had acted on conflicts of interest, manipulated company board minutes and breached duties of good faith, and there had been clear breaches of company law.
“My clients invented something that could and should have truly helped the planet. I am delighted that the Judge has recognised that BBHUK was entirely at fault and destroyed my clients’ dream. The victory is bittersweet because the judgment cannot change that BBHUK killed off a project that had the potential to save enormous volumes of energy and water, which we would all benefit from in a modern world where natural resources are under extreme pressure. Industry leaders should embrace such opportunities, not destroy them.”
The Keystone Law team was led by commercial litigation partner Matthew Reach (instructing David Lewis QC at Hardwicke).
BBUK was represented by Slaughter & May (instructing Fraser Campbell at Blackstone Chambers).
View the full judgment here: