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Clipsal is an Australian brand of electrical accessories. The main factory was located at Bowden, but it was announced in 2008 that a move would be made to a new site, located at Gepps Cross. The move took place in 2009.[1][2] Clipsal used to boast smaller factories in South Australia at Nuriootpa, Strathalbyn and Wingfield, as well as Bayswater in Victoria. These have closed with production moved either to Gepps Cross or offshore. They have offices worldwide and sponsor the Adelaide Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar Race.

According to their website, Clipsal is a "market leader in data communications, industrial and home automation markets."

Since 2004 Clipsal Australia has been a subsidiary of Schneider Electric.

History [edit]

The former Clipsal factory in Bowden in the foreground

Clipsal was established by A. E. Gerard in Adelaide, Australia in 1920, selling a range of adjustable sheet metal fittings which joined the various imported conduits of differing diameters found in Australia at the time. This fitting was the product that gave the Clipsal company its name ("clips all" - Clipsal). Alfred’s son Geoff eventually took over the company, and it soon spearheaded several manufacturing breakthroughs, including the invention of the first all-Australian switch in 1930. The company also did early R&D on thermoplastics in the 1950s.[3]

Clipsal Integrated Systems, a division of Clipsal, was responsible for the creation of the C-Bus product range and accompanying protocol used in home automation.

Clipsal entered into a collaboration agreement with The Smart Company in 1995 and then a Heads of Agreement in 1996. These agreements led to the development of the Clipsal Home Minder that Clipsal sold until 2004.

In 2004 Clipsal Australia became majority-owned by Schneider Electric.

From 2004 to 2011 Clipsal Integrated Systems, Clipsal Technologies Australia and Clipsal Australia were in litigation[4] with The Smart Company Pty Ltd about the Clipsal Home Minder and other Smart products.[5][6][7][8]

The litigation was for apparent unpaid royalties to The Smart Company pursuant to the Heads of Agreement.

The Smart Company went into liquidation on 28 May 2010. Liquidators of The Smart Company went to the Supreme Court to gain back control of the Clipsal case because prior to the liquidation the director Dorothea Tomazos had transferred the benefit of the case to herself for $1.[9] In August 2010 Liquidators gained back control of the Clipsal case to continue the action against Clipsal and effectively Schneider Electric for up to $4 billion Australian dollars.[10] Enterprise Global Resources, controlled by Dorothea Tomazos, then held up the case again by intervening as the shareholder of The Smart Company to take control of the Federal Court action. In February 2011 Enterprise Global Resources was refused permission to maintain the proceedings.[11]

The case was dismissed on 29 April 2011 because The Smart Company failed to comply with orders from November 2009 to prepare for the 12-week trial that was going to start on 31 May 2010 and the liquidators were unable to progress during late 2010 and early 2011 because they did not have access to The Smart Company's documents relating to the action.[12]

The liquidators filed a Notice of Appeal against the dismissal on 20 May 2011.[13][14] In June 2011 the Yamaha Pitman founders were behind the $3m Deed Of Company Arrangement to resurrect the case against Clipsal Australia. The liquidators were also in talks with a litigation funder a third party about the purchase of the Clipsal case.[15] The liquidators discontinued the Appeal on 8 July 2011 and were ordered to pay costs.

Gerard family[edit]

William Gerard (c. 1843 – c. 24 May 1916) of Tintinhull, Somerset, married Emily Russell (c. 1845 – 14 June 1908) on 12 October 1865. Two months later they left for South Australia on the Trevelyan, arriving at Port Adelaide on 22 March 1866, and made straight for Burra, where he found work as a trolley driver at the mine. They had two children: Sarah Ann "Annie" Gerard (1872– ), who married James Thomas Walker on 27 June 1894, and Alfred Edward Gerard (1877–1950).

Alfred Gerard[edit]

Alfred Edward Gerard (11 August 1877 – 13 October 1950), generally known as "A. E. Gerard", was born in Aberdeen, South Australia, the son of William Gerard and Emily née Russell. He was educated at Burra Public School, and married Elsie Goodman on 26 March 1902. They moved to Adelaide, where after working for Ellis & Clark, set up his own contracting business in their rented home. With assistance from his father-in-law he founded "Gerard and Goodman" was registered on 3 August 1908. In 1920 Gerard & Goodman began making conduit fittings, branded "Clipsal", referring to their fittings being compatible with those from other manufacturers. In 1921 he bought the company's first freehold property, in Synagogue Place. As business expanded and diversified, he bought the shop at 132 Rundle street for an electrical and radio retail and repair shop. That arm of the business was later transferred to 192–196 Rundle Street east, adjacent to the Synagogue Place warehouse, which had meanwhile expanded to four storeys.[16]

He and Elsie had four sons: (Alfred) Hubert Gerard, (William) Geoffrey Gerard, Kenneth Edward Gerard, and Jack Hamilton Gerard. They lived at 9 Highbury Street, Prospect, South Australia.[17]

see Main article

Geoffrey Gerard[edit]

William Geoffrey Gerard (16 June 1907) was born in Salisbury, South Australia and educated at Adelaide Technical High School.

He was managing director of Gerard Industries Pty Ltd. 1930–1976 and chairman of directors from 1950. He was president of the Liberal and Country League 1961–1964. He was president of the South Australian Chamber of Manufacturers 1953 –1954 and the Chambers of Manufacturers of Australia in 1955.[18]

He married Elsie Lesetta Lowe on 10 November 1932. They had two children, Robert Geoffrey and Margaret Lesetta.

Robert Gerard[edit]

Robert Geoffrey Gerard (born 3 January 1945) oversaw the rapid expansion of the family company from 1976, and sale of many of its assets (including Clipsal to the Schneider Electric group) in part to meet its obligations to the Australian Tax Office and the public listing of Gerard Lighting in 2010.[19]

see Main article

Simon Gerard[edit]

Son of Robert Gerard, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Gerard Lighting in 2010.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ From the Company's website at
  4. ^ "Federal Court of Australia WAD 132 of 2004". Commonwealth Courts Portal. 
  5. ^ "Gerard family link to technology theft case" (PDF). The Australian. 4 September 2006. 
  6. ^ "Clipsal Stole C-Bus Technology Court Case". Smart House. 5 September 2006. 
  7. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Telstra Dragged Into Clipsal C-Bus Theft Case". Smart House. 25 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "John Howard's Mate Central To C-Bus Technology Theft Claim". Smart House. 28 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Surprise snag in $4bn Clipsal claim". The Advertiser. 17 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Ruling on who can fight for royalties". The Advertiser. 31 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Clipsal claimant loses $4bn bid". The Advertiser. 14 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "Federal Court of Australia Judgment for The Smart Company v Clipsal". 29 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Federal Court of Australia SAD 106 of 2011". Commonwealth Courts Portal. 20 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Liquidators to appeal Clipsal case" (PDF). The Advertiser. 24 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Emmerson, Russell (21 June 2011). "Last-minute bid to revive case against Clipsal". Adelaide Now. 
  16. ^ Heather Britton The Home of the Trade: 80 years of Gerard & Goodman 1997 ISBN 0646329596
  17. ^ Healey, John (ed.) S.A. Greats: The men and women of the North Terrace plaques Historical Society of South Australia 2003 ISBN 0 9579430 0 8
  18. ^ Barnier, Cheryl Notable Australians Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd.1978 ISBN 0 86832 0129
  19. ^ a b Kitney, Damon "Throwing light on the fortunes of the Gerards" The Australian 6 August 2011

External links[edit]