The World: Sydney - Y&R 'secret payments' case to commence next year

A court case between WPP and two of its former senior executives regarding "secret payments" made to the pair is set to start in March next year.

The case involves claims the private equity company Pacific Equity Partners made $1.5 million in "secret payments" to the former George Patterson Y&R senior executives Anthony Heraghty and James McGrath to entice them to stay at the agency to help command an inflated price for its stake in The Communications Group, which WPP was buying in 2005.

The pair have admitted they were each paid $750,000 to stay at the agency, but insist they told the Y&R global chief executive, Hamish McLennan, about the payments.