Prince Michael of Kent's freemasons lodge faces legal action
The freemasons lodge of which Prince Michael of Kent is Grand Master is being sued in the High Court over a £673,000 bill.
By Tim Walker
09 Mar 2012
Prince Michael of Kent is the patron of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons Photo: AFP
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Mandrake learns that daylight is, however, to be shone on the secret society when a case is heard at the High Court in London.
The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons has become involved in a dispute with one of its own members, who claims that he is owed more than £673,000 in fees and interest.
Paul Hunter alleges that the Grand Lodge has breached copyright in his designs for logos, and that it has failed to pay for his work. Prince Michael’s cousin the Queen is named in Hunter’s legal papers, after she granted letters patent for an image on which one of his logos was based.
Hunter, who runs Connect Computer Solutions, claims that the Grand Lodge entered into a contract for his services in 2007. He says he spent months on projects for which he has not been paid. Now, he is suing nine named freemasons on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.
He created a brand identity for the Grand Lodge in a series of logos which were approved. He argues that he owns the contract for the original artistic works. The logos have been reproduced on documents sent out by the Grand Lodge and have been used on various websites as well as on ties, cufflinks, official tokens and shopping bags, which, he claims, infringes his copyright.
He liaised with Peter O’Donoghue, the Queen’s Bluemantle Pursuivant at the Royal College of Arms, to discuss the significance of existing logos used by the Grand Lodge, and discovered that the Queen had granted a letters patent for the image on which his new design for a logo was based.
Adam Glass, of Davenport Lyons, who is representing the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, tells me: “All I can say is that this will be robustly defended.”