The row over Paul Twivy’s ousting from Bates Dorland is threatening to
spill into the High Court with the issue of a writ by the former group
chief executive alleging breach of contract.
He is suing the agency over what he claims was wrongful sacking from his
pounds 200,000-a-year job in September and its apparent reneging on a
promise to make him chairman.
The writ also accuses Michael Bungey, the Bates Worldwide chairman, and
Michael Geraghty, Bates Europe’s chief operating officer, of persuading
Twivy to accept Graham Hinton’s appointment in January by falsely
claiming that the former DMB&B boss would be chairman of the London
agency when, in fact, he had been hired as Dorlands group chairman.
Twivy’s solicitors said this week that they would be applying to the
court for a ‘fast track’ summary judgment on the case to which, they
claim, Dorlands has no defence. The agency declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Twivy met Jean de Yturbe, the Bates Europe chairman, this
week in a last-ditch effort to head off a damaging public dispute.
The legal move came ten days after Twivy cleared his personal belongings
from the agency, having rejected Bungey’s offer of a new international
and new-business role together with a pounds 50,000 raise (Campaign, 4
His lawyer, Stephen Sutton, said that as Twivy had been dismissed
without the required notice or compensation, the court would be asked to
declare invalid the restrictive covenants in his contract preventing him
from soliciting Dorlands clients or staff.
Twivy’s departure ended an abortive attempt to establish a working
relationship with Hinton who, the writ alleges, was given profit and
loss responsibilities that were central to Twivy’s role as chief
The writ claims Bungey wrongfully ended Twivy’s contract in a letter
sent on 29 August in which he told him: ‘To make it absolutely clear, I
wish your current employment to cease at the end of September.’
Twivy will claim damages to cover the loss of salary, profit-sharing
entitlements, pension contributions made by Dorlands equivalent to 11
per cent of his salary and membership of a healthcare scheme.