Brisbane consumables distributor Dynamic Supplies and HP have settled their initial Supreme Court dispute - but another $1.4 million case remains to be fought.
HP Australia sued former authorised distributor Dynamic Supplies in the Supreme Court of NSW in November for $5.2 million for monies outstanding - a figure reduced from an initial amount of approximately $6.8 million.
However, Dynamic Supplies MD Alex Piccinini told CRN then that the distributor was preparing to counter-claim for an undisclosed sum.
Piccinini said the disputes stemmed from last year's wind-up of the authorised distributor purchasing arrangements. Dynamic Supplies withdrew from its authorised distributor relationship with HP on 30 September, after three months of negotiations, he said at the time.
Kerry McKevitt, financial controller at Dynamic Supplies, said the distributor had paid HP the funds owed but was sueing to have $1.4 million returned. A date has not yet been set. The case was still at the 'discovery' stage where affidavits were swapped back and forth between the parties, so the amount claimed could change yet again, he added.
'We did not wish to see in any shape or form any court order not in our favour, so that's why in what was originally a $6.5 million or so case, we've [paid up and] now reduced to $1.4 million,' he said. McKevitt said that Dynamic Supplies had accepted the judgement for HP - but believed the amount was still too high.
Rather than hold up the initial case, the distributor decided to pay the amount demanded and counter-sue, a move that should help the company maintain goodwill, he said. Despite the costs of pursuing a case in the Supreme Court - which meant barristers as well as solicitors had to be hired - the distributor believed the action was worth it, McKevitt said.
'I feel fairly certain - someone has already admitted - that when they did the accounts I believe they might have left that amount out,' he said. 'There's no question we'll be winning it in some area.'
Dynamic Supplies was cognisant of the effect a drawn-out court case could have on customers, many of whom were likely to be perfectly happy with HP products, McKevitt added. HP had accounted for some 40 percent - some $7 million to $8 million each year -- of the distributor's business.
HP Australia was contacted but said it preferred not to comment on legal matters still proceeding.