The clash of the Web Summit founders: the story behind the legal battle and what it means

How did the small group behind the big-ticket tech conference fall out so badly in a tangle of allegations, lawsuits and countersuits?

Paddy Cosgrave: now at daggers drawn with former Web Summit colleagues Daire Hickey and David Kelly. Picture: Getty

In the spring of 2017, Daire Hickey and David Kelly had lunch in the Dropping Well pub in Milltown in Dublin 6, following a meeting with Paddy Cosgrave about the future of the Web Summit, a tech conference start-up that was worth an estimated €100 million at the time.

Hickey, who had been recovering from injuries incurred in a serious car crash the year before, told Kelly over lasagne and chips that he wanted to ...