$20m Hoefler Frere-Jones legal battle ends in settlement

The $20 million (£12 million) legal battle between typography superstars Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones has ended in a settlement, the pair have announced.

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The Whitney typeface, developed by Hoefler Frere-Jones

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but Hoefler and Frere-Jones say their dispute over ownership of the Hoefler & Frere-Jones type foundry has now been “resolved”.

The settlement follows a lawsuit filed at the start of the year by Frere-Jones, in which he claimed that Hoefler had promised him a 50 per cent stake in the company, which he then failed to deliver.

The claim – made to the Supreme Court of the State of New York – was based on a verbal agreement  Frere-Jones says was made between the pair in 1999 to become equal partners in the foundry.

Since the claim was made, Hoefler and Frere-Jones have parted ways, with Frere-Jones leaving the company, which now goes under the name Hoefler & Co.

Frere-Jones, meanwhile, has announced plans to set up his own type design practice next year.

Hoefler says: “We’re pleased with the resolution, and I look forward to continuing the work that our company has always been known for.”  

Frere-Jones says: “I’m glad we’ve resolved our disagreement. I’m eager to return to design work and to launch my own type design practice in the new year.”

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