The High Court battle to decide whether Hook Advertising’s Chris Joseph
is entitled to millions of pounds worth of compensation from the
agency’s bank and a former client has been postponed until the spring.
Hutchison last week successfully applied to the court to delay the
hearing, which was scheduled to begin on 26 February.
The company’s lawyers argued that earlier uncertainties about whether or
not the case would proceed meant they were unable to prepare their
defence in time.
Earlier this month, Joseph narrowly managed to keep his lawsuit alive by
depositing pounds 55,000 with the High Court minutes before a deadline
for him to comply with a security-for-costs action brought by Hutchison.
The decision means that Joseph’s allegations against Hutchison and
Barclays are unlikely to be heard before May.
In December, the High Court ruled that Hutchison was entitled to the
copyright of the Rabbit telepoint logo that Joseph devised. But the
verdict was a landmark victory for Britain’s agencies, preventing
clients claiming copyright on work presented speculatively at pitches
without prior agreement.
The hearing later this year will decide a five-year battle for
compensation by Joseph since Hutchison fired Hook from the pounds 4
million Rabbit account in 1991. He is claiming damages from the company
for alleged illegal termination on the agency’s contract.
He is also suing Barclays, a former member of a telepoint consortium
that sold out to Hutchison, for allegedly using economic duress and
abusing its position as the agency’s client and banker.