Sir Frank Lowe’s year-long legal wrangle with Interpublic Group is “days away” from being resolved.
The battle of claims – which are being disputed in the US – may be finalised as early as this week, according to sources. Insiders describe the proposed settlement as “a draw”, with both sides agreeing to drop their respective claims.
In January, IPG filed charges against Lowe with the American Arbitration Association in New York to stop what it claimed was his use of confidential information gained while he was chairman of Lowe Worldwide, as well as his poaching of Lowe executives.
It followed Lowe’s decision to create a start-up agency, The Red Brick Road, a year ago. Lowe refuted the allegations and sought to have the complaint dismissed. Six months later, he countered with a civil lawsuit that accused the holding company of defaming him via “false and injurious statements” in both its claim and a subsequent press release.
The suit, filed at New York’s Supreme Court, also accused IPG of wrongful interference in his development of The Red Brick Road and sought unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, both sides would drop their respective claims. No money would change hands, the source says. A resolution is expected either before Christmas or soon after the New Year.
IPG declined to comment. A spokesman for Lowe says no decision has been reached as yet.
Lowe Worldwide also investigated claims that the then London chief executive, Garry Lace, had breached his contract by meeting with Lowe regarding the start-up. Lace later left the agency by “mutual consent” and there was no clear evidence of the claims alleged.