High Court finds that ITV2 wrongly terminated production agreements of shows featuring Peter Andre and Kerry Katona

Mr H TV Limited (formerly known as Can Associates TV Limited) v ITV2 Ltd [2015] EWHC 2840 (Comm), 8 October 2015

Issues

The High Court has ruled that ITV2 wrongly terminated production agreements relating to television programmes featuring Peter Andre and Kerry Katona. The claimant production company is owned and run by Neville Hendricks who was at the time in a business and personal relationship with Claire Powell, manager of Peter Andre and Kerry Katona.

Mr Hendricks and Ms Powell’s personal relationship came to an acrimonious end and Ms Powell sought to find an alternative production company for Peter Andre’s shows. Mr Hendricks then set up a Twitter account where he tweeted details of Ms Powell and Mr Andre’s personal lives. Mr Andre’s solicitors wrote a letter to Mr Hendricks informing him that Mr Andre wanted no further dealings with Mr Hendricks or his company.

Following this letter, ITV2 terminated the production agreements with the claimant company on the basis that Mr Hendricks had breached confidentiality provisions undermining the show Mr Andre featured in. This was said to constitute a fundamental breach of an ‘implied term’ of the agreement to not act in such a way as to damage the relationship of trust and confidence, entitling ITV2 to terminate. Separately, Kerry Katona had parted ways with Clare Powell as her manager. In 2011 Ms Katona agreed to take part in Celebrity Big Brother. ITV2 sought to terminate the production agreement with Ms Katona on the basis that this was a fundamental breach by the claimant’s company of its exclusivity obligation.

Findings

The High Court found that the claimant company was not in repudiatory breach of the production agreements. In terminating the production agreements ITV2 was in fact in breach of the contracts by terminating them as it did and it is liable for substantial damages to the claimant company.