Interfering with another person’s contractual relationship is unlawful, and with the right legal advice, you may be able to claim appropriate compensation for loss of profit or other earnings. In a recent case, the worlds of science fiction and contract law collided, when a Star Wars fan was unlawfully prevented from beaming an interview with a well-known actor, who played Darth Vader in the original trilogy, into cinemas.
The businessman had reached a contractual agreement with the organiser of a Star Wars convention that he would be permitted to film the interview and other highlights of the event with a view to showing the footage on cinema screens. However, the filmmakers of the Star Wars films were concerned that the project might have a damaging effect on the success of the Saga’s latest instalment and threatened legal action against the convention organisers, but planned to take no action against the businessman.
After the convention organisers withdrew from the contract, the businessman was left with his project in tatters. He subsequently launched a High Court action for £1.35 million against the filmmakers, accusing them of unlawfully procuring a breach of contract. The filmmakers defended the claim, arguing it was “incredibly speculative” and that the venture would have struggled to have make a profit.
In agreeing with the businessman, the High Court found that on the balance of probabilities, but for the filmmakers’ interference, his project would probably have succeeded, and his film would have stood a real and significant chance of achieving 150 cinema screenings. The Court did however question the amount of profit that would have been made, and reduced the award to the claimant to £39,504 in damages for the sum he would have made after expenses.
If you have a contractual issue that needs resolving, or want advice before entering a contractual relationship, we are here to help. We offer a 1 hour fixed fee meeting for £95 including VAT where we can discuss you issue in detail and provide you with an overview of your options. For more information or to make an appointment please call 01189589711 or e-mail Justin Sadler, our Litigation Partner at [email protected]