Clipsal is an Australian brand of electrical accessories. Their primary factory, once located at Bowden, moved to Gepps Cross in 2009.[1][2] Smaller factories in South Australia at Nuriootpa, Strathalbyn, Wingfield, Bayswater and in Victoria have closed and production has moved to Gepps Cross and to offshore locations. From 2000 to 2017, Clipsal was the naming rights sponsor for the Adelaide 500 Supercars race.

Clipsal logo

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. Clipsal began by selling a range of adjustable sheet metal fittings which joined the various imported conduits of differing diameters found in Australia at the time. These products helped give the company its name, the phrase "clips all" being abridged to Clipsal. Alfred's son Geoff took over the company and spearheaded several manufacturing breakthroughs, including the invention of the first all-Australian switch in 1930. The company also performed 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 later entered into a Heads of Agreement in 1996. These agreements led to the development of the Clipsal Home Minder, which was 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 regarding 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 control of the Clipsal case.[9] Prior to liquidation, director Dorothea Tomazos transferred the benefit of the case to herself for $1.[10] In August 2010, liquidators gained control of the Clipsal case to continue the action against Clipsal (and effectively Schneider Electric) for up to 4 billion Australian dollars.[9][11] Enterprise Global Resources, (controlled by Dorothea Tomazos) intervened as the shareholder of The Smart Company to take control of the Federal Court action, allegedly thereby delaying the case. In February 2011, Enterprise Global Resources was refused permission to maintain the proceedings.[12][13]

The case was dismissed on 29 April 2011, due to The Smart Company failing to comply with the orders from November 2009 to prepare for the 12-week trial. Although the trial was scheduled to start on 31 May 2010, liquidators were unable to progress during late 2010 and early 2011 due to lacking access to documents possessed by The Smart Company relating to the action.[14]

The liquidators filed a Notice of Appeal against the dismissal on 20 May 2011.[15][16] In June 2011, the Yamaha Pitman founders attempted to resurrect the case against Clipsal Australia, filing the $3 million Deed Of Company Arrangement. The liquidators were in talks with a litigation funder, a third party, about the purchase of the Clipsal case.[17] The liquidators discontinued the Appeal on 8 July 2011 and were ordered to pay the costs.[15]

Gerard familyEdit

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 GerardEdit

Alfred Edward Gerard (11 August 1877 – 13 October 1950), generally known as "A. E. Gerard", was born in Aberdeen, South Australia, he was the second 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, he set up his own contracting business in their rented home. With assistance from his father-in-law, he founded "Gerard and Goodman", which was registered on August 3, 1908. In 1920, Gerard & Goodman began making conduit fittings, and branded "Clipsal". The name referred to the fact that their fittings were 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 expanded to four stories.[18]

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.[19]

Geoffrey GerardEdit

William Geoffrey Gerard (16 June 1907 – 22 February 1994) was born in Salisbury, South Australia and studied at Adelaide Technical High School.[20]

He was the managing director of Gerard Industries Pty Ltd. 1930–1976 and chairman of directors starting in 1950. He was president of the Liberal and Country League from 1961–1964. He was president of the South Australian Chamber of Manufactures from 1953–1954 and the Chambers of Manufacturers of Australia in 1955.[21]

He married Elsie Lesetta Lowe on 10 November 1932, and had two children, Robert Geoffrey and Margaret Lesetta.[20]

Robert GerardEdit

Robert Geoffrey Gerard (born 3 January 1945) oversaw the rapid expansion of the family company from 1976 on, including the sale of many of its assets (including Clipsal to the Schneider Electric group), which were in part to meet its obligations to the Australian Tax Office. He also oversaw the public listing of Gerard Lighting in 2010.[22]

Simon GerardEdit

The son of Robert Gerard; he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Gerard Lighting in 2010.[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ From the Company's website at
  4. ^ Smart Company Pty Ltd v Clipsal Integrated Systems Pty Ltd [2006] FCA 428 (29 March 2006), Federal Court (Australia).
  5. ^ "Gerard family link to technology theft case" (PDF). The Australian. 4 September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Clipsal Stole C-Bus Technology Court Case". Smart House. 5 September 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  7. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Telstra Dragged Into Clipsal C-Bus Theft Case". Smart House. 25 September 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  8. ^ "John Howard's Mate Central To C-Bus Technology Theft Claim". Smart House. 28 September 2008. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  9. ^ a b Strazdins & Cooper (as liquidators of the Smart Company P/L (in liq) v Tomaszou & Enterprise Global Resources P/L [2010] SASC 262 (27 August 2010), Supreme Court (SA, Australia).
  10. ^ "Surprise snag in $4bn Clipsal claim". The Advertiser. 17 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Ruling on who can fight for royalties". The Advertiser. 31 August 2010.
  12. ^ Smart Company Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) v Clipsal Australia Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 35 (2 February 2011), Federal Court (Australia).
  13. ^ "Clipsal claimant loses $4bn bid". The Advertiser. 14 February 2011.
  14. ^ The Smart Company v Clipsal [2011] FCA 419 (29 April 2011), Federal Court (Australia).
  15. ^ a b The Smart Company (In Liquidation) v Clipsal [2011] FCA 821 (20 July 2011), Federal Court (Australia).
  16. ^ "Liquidators to appeal Clipsal case" (PDF). The Advertiser. 24 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  17. ^ Emmerson, Russell (21 June 2011). "Last-minute bid to revive case against Clipsal". Adelaide Now.
  18. ^ Heather Britton The Home of the Trade: 80 years of Gerard & Goodman 1997 ISBN 0646329596
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ a b Cornish, David, "Gerard, William Geoffrey (Geoff) (1907–1994)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 2019-06-25
  21. ^ Barnier, Cheryl Notable Australians Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd.1978 ISBN 0 86832 0129
  22. ^ a b Kitney, Damon "Throwing light on the fortunes of the Gerards" The Australian 6 August 2011

External linksEdit