Wednesday, 10 October 2012

PaperlinX gets stroppy!

Oh deary me! Last Friday I received a legal notice from posh solicitors Shoosmiths, acting on behalf of Paperlinx about a post on this very blog! - it's almost made me feel important!
Rather sadly I can't actually post the letter on the blog because of it's legal nature, so I can only show a "redacted" letter (that's the word that everyone used last year connected with the parliamentary expenses scandal) you can't read it!

Anyway, you'll all be pleased to know that although it's about alleged defamatory allegations, they aren't ones I've written - it's been sent to me because I posted a link to an Australian based website, written by Paperlinx shareholder Graham Critchley. Obviously, I've now removed the link, but this was the original article:
You may remember from previous posts that PaperlinX is the global, loss making, Australian company which owns Robert Horne, Howard Smith and The Paper Co - names of UK paper merchants which many of you will be familiar with. 
Picture courtesy of
Unfortunately PaperlinX is in a financially perilous state which has been much reported in the press and is now headed by Dave Allen ( ...not the erstwhile Irish comedian!). Personally, I would have thought he might do better working to get the figures looking better for the banks and shareholders than worrying about nice people like me and the links I put on my blog!
However, this could be useful information for readers of this blog, because I certainly didn't know that by linking a site, you are in fact re-publishing that site and therefore also responsible for what's been published - interesting eh? So thanks to Paperlinx and Shoosmiths for the heads up! 
Posted by Justin Hobson 10.10.2012


  1. Hello Justin
    This is a very interesting post. I know exactly which blog you are referring to! I work at Northampton for one of the PaperlinX companies you mention and the management have banned anyone looking at that site. Of course, needless to say everyone still reads it but from the comfort of their own home! I like what you write about, it's everything that paper merchanting should be about. Well done.

  2. Hi Justin. You write a really interesting blog about the world of design. I got to read it because my wife is a graphic designer although I'm trader (corporate bonds) in the city. This article about paperlinx caught my eye (I know of them and the woes of this australian behemoth!) What you have described in your post here and the one before in July relates perfectly to an article by Sarah O'Connor in the FT back in September. She argues that the banks should not be throwing more money at struggling corporations. She quotes Jon Moulton of Better Capital (a restructuring expert) arguing that low interest rates and forbearance from banks anxious not to crystallise losses on corporate laons , have engendered a rash of "Zombie" firms in Britain. and he thinks that about a tenth of the country's companies wouldn't be in business if the insolvency rate was at the 1990's average. Now although paperlinx's worries are more global than just the UK, I can see some real parallels here. The article goes on to argue that insolvencies clear out bad business models, paving the way for more robust growth - how true is this of the paperlinx model! As the article goes on to say, maybe our problems come down to "the insolvency boom that never was" it's an interesting world!
    Keep blogging. Jon


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