Saatchi plc sues brothers over $40m Adidas `fee’

Saatchi & Saatchi plc has stepped up its legal battle with founders Maurice and Charles, one day after the company’s claim for an injunction was rejected by the London High Court.

Saatchi & Saatchi plc has stepped up its legal battle with founders Maurice and Charles, one day after the company’s claim for an injunction was rejected by the London High Court.

The company has issued a fresh writ claiming that the profits accrued from an investment made by the brothers in the German sportswear firm Adidas, in February 1993, belong to it, rather than them. The legal battle will revolve around a $40m (£26m) settlement the brothers made with Adidas chairman and former Saatchi board member Robert Louis-Dreyfus last year, and a claim that the payment was for marketing services carried out for the sportswear firm.

Maurice Saatchi reacted angrily to the latest legal action, saying the Adidas investment was a “private matter”, had nothing to do with the plc and was not a payment for marketing services. “Yesterday’s court action landed their shareholders with a £100,000 bill for our costs. This latest harassment is another waste of our time and their shareholders’ money,” he says.

At the same time, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in London is close to appointing its new chairman. It is understood to have drawn up a revised shortlist, including Laing Henry chairwoman Jennifer Laing – who denies she has been approached.

The need to fill the position has become more pressing after the company lost its High Court action to seek an injunction against Maurice Saatchi and three other former executives on Monday.

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