Through its subsidiary, Hesco Bastion Limited (Hesco), legal action has been commenced in the High Court in London against Dirickx Systems Limited (Dirickx) and a number of ex-employees of Hesco.  The claim involves allegations of misuse of confidential information, breach of employee’s duties of good faith, infringement of patent and copyright as well as misrepresentations to customers to the effect that Dirickx is offering to supply Hesco products when in fact they were intending to supply their own instead. 

Following internal investigations, Praesidiad has uncovered what appears to have been a secret plan made between a group of Hesco’s former senior and trusted employees to set up their own company to manufacture facsimiles of Hesco’s own MIL Gabions, XS Fence and Floodline Gabions.  Praesidiad infers from the trading name of the competitor, that this was done with the knowledge and support of Dirickx France and its owner, M Deblauwe.

The allegations of wrongdoing include the removal by the ex-employees, either alone or together, of commercially sensitive information, confidential to Hesco, with the intended purpose of enabling Dirickx to win business from Hesco. In addition, test certificates belonging to Hesco have been wrongfully taken and then misused to enable the sale of Dirickx products without Dirickx conducting testing of its own.

By way of further wrongdoing, Dirickx, both on its website and in other marketing materials, have used combinations of text and photographs, which when viewed in the context of the Dirickx Systems website or marketing materials as a whole, falsely represent that the products depicted are Dirickx Systems products, when they are in fact Hesco products.

Finally, and presumably in an effort to replicate Hesco’s production efficiencies, Dirickx have utilised a modified shop floor which infringes one of Hesco’s patents.

Hesco is seeking orders from High Court for appropriate injunctions to restrain further infringing activity, an enquiry into damages or alternatively an account of Dirickx’s profits as well as payment of its legal costs.  A High Court trial in London is expected within 12-18 months.

Dino Koutrouki, CEO, said “Whilst Praesidiad as a business welcomes legitimate competition, it is not prepared to allow the actions of former employees, placed in a position of trust and duty of good faith, to unlawfully take advantage of the foundations of our business in order compete with us.  
Hesco has a proud history as a leading innovator. For over 30 years customers have depended on us for original, high quality life safety products conceived, created and developed by us and tested independently to the highest standards. We have a duty to defend our innovation and our brand through this High Court action. Hesco intends to pursue its claims to the fullest degree and we confidently expect the litigation process will reveal the full extent of wrongdoing of which the above is only a snapshot.”

Full details of our claim can be viewed here: