Spice Girls in a spin over scooter deal

who's suing whom

THE SPICE GIRLS are suing the Italian motorbike company Aprilia, which sponsored their recently completed global tour, over money which the girl band allege remains unpaid.

In May this year the distinguished Italian company, which 50 years ago built race-winning motorbikes, agreed to pay the Spice Girls a total of pounds 400,000 in a series of instalments.

The company also agreed to supply the band with 20 "Sonic" scooters and 10 Aprilia "Moto" bikes, the latter designed by the famous French designer Philippe Starck.

In return the Spice Girls allowed the Milan-based company to make and sell the "Spice Sonic" scooter. For the first 10,000 Spice Sonic scooters sold the band would receive a royalty of pounds 15 per sale and for each one over that figure a royalty of pounds 10.

Aprilia also undertook to pay pounds 112,500 on 31 August as a "guaranteed payment" of royalties.

The Girls have now issued a writ alleging that they have not received the third instalment of pounds 100,000 from Aprilia, nor the guaranteed payment of pounds 112,500.

The band also alleges that Aprilia has failed to deliver five Sonic scooters and two Philippe Starck Moto bikes.

The band is demanding unspecified damages via its solicitors, Lee & Thompson of St Christopher's Place, London.

BRITVIC SOFT DRINKS and Bass Brewers have taken legal action against the makers and suppliers of gas which is added to soft drinks, and which in June caused a health scare when it was found to contain traces of benzene, a dangerous chemical.

Britvic withdrew 2.25 million cans of soft drinks after it was informed by Messer UK, the supplier of carbon dioxide, and Terra Nitrogen, the manufacturer of the gas, on 20 May that a detectable level of benzene was present.

Carbon dioxide is used to put bubbles into soft drinks. The CO2 supplied by Messer contained traces of benzene, "which should not be present in CO2 supplied for human consumption in drinks", according to Britvic and Bass.

The two companies have launched a legal action using solicitors Nicholson Graham & Jones.

Paul Howcroft, a litigation partner with the firm, said last week: "There are a lot more claims of this sort in the pipeline from other soft drinks companies."

HELLO! MAGAZINE is trying to stop OK!, the rival celebrity interview publication, from "falsely suggesting or implying that OK!'s circulation figures have overtaken those of Hello!".

Hello!'s Spanish owners are seeking an injunction through the London courts to prevent OK!'s publishers, Northern and Shell, from "falsely representing Hello!'s circulation figures."

Northern & Shell is owned and run by Richard Desmond. Its many other titles include include Penthouse and Asian Babes.

Hello!'s Spanish owner, Hola, has issued a writ through the leading libel lawyer Peter Carter-Ruck, which also accuses Northern & Shell of infringing four trademarks.

THE FAMILY that has been one of Britain's biggest private landlords in the post-war period appears to be split by a legal row, with a writ issued by the son naming the father as one of two defendants.

Berish Berger, a leading member of Berger family, is suing his father, Sighismund Berger, and a businessman, David Garrard, over the settlement of a property dispute dating back to 1992 which has now come apart.

Mr Berger junior is claiming pounds 150,000 from Mr Garrard as part of a settlement of a legal row surrounding Frogmore Estates. The settlement was dubbed the `Frogmore Compromise" and under it Mr Garrard was due to make a number of payments to Mr Berger totalling pounds 350,000. Mr Berger now claims that pounds 150,000 remains unpaid. He is also demanding over pounds 77,000 in interest.

Mr Berger junior says in his statement of claim that his father, Sighismund Berger, "is of advanced age. He has been joined in these proceedings so as to have all relevant parties before the Court."

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