Who's suing who

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The Independent Online
Hat Trick Productions, the independent makers of such TV hits as "Have I Got News For You" and "Drop the Dead Donkey" are suing the owners of a pub in Hackney which has named itself after their award-winning comedy show "Father Ted".

Hat Trick, run by joint managing directors Jimmy Mulville and Denise O'Donoghue, have been trying without success to contact the owners of "Father Teds" in Kingsland High Street, Hackney, in London's East End, since last summer.

The writ names the pub's owners as Barry John Burke, Timothy Doyle and Factsceen Limited, the latter a company whose registered office is in Windsor, Berkshire.

Hat Trick are calling for an injunction to restrain the defendants.from "passing off themselves or any business of theirs as being connected or associated in any way with the Plaintiff by use of the name 'Father Ted', 'Father Teds' or otherwise howsowever."

The TV company, based in Finchley Road, London, is also demanding that the pub hand over "all signs, materials, literature and other items" relevant to the name.

Sovereign Unit Trust Managers, which is owned by the mutual Teachers Assurance Group, has issued a writ against Phillips & Drew Fund Managers, NatWest Bank, Bankers Trustee Company and Knox Cropper, in a dispute over fund management fees.

The writ concerns Sovereign's eight unit trusts. Last July the investment regulator IMRO fined Sovereign pounds 225,000 over failures in its internal organisation, for incorrectly pricing the eight trusts for more than a year, and for allowing three of its unit trusts to pay fees Sovereign should have paid itself.

In May 1996 Sovereign paid pounds 1.4 million compensation for the errors to its 40,000 investors.

Now Sovereign's writ is claiming an indemnity in respect of the payments made by Sovereign to the unit holders of all eight of the funds. It claims that PDFM made "wrongful payment of certain fees and charges...from the assets of the said funds, namely the First Defendant's investment management fees, the First Defendant's overseas administration charges and the First Defendant's advisory fees."

NatWest, Bankers Trustee Company and Knox Cropper, a firm of chartered accountants, are joined in the writ for their role in allowing these payments to go to PDFM.

A spokesman for Sovereign, based in Bournemouth, Dorset, said yesterday: "This is a protective writ which we had to lodge to keep our options open, before time runs out on the issue. It is concerning work (the defendants) did for the Sovereign funds which we were not happy with."

The spokesman added that Sovereign is no longer working with PDFM or Bankers Trustee Company, but is still working with Knox Cropper.

"The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, acting through their delegates (trading as Oxford University Press)" are suing The Decca Record Company over a version of Boris Godunov, the opera by Modest Mussorgsky.

Oxford publishes an orignal version of the opera prepared in the 1960s by David Lloyd-Jones. The University now accuses Decca of having filmed a performance of the Lloyd-Jones version and of importing videos of this version from Holland, thus infringing Oxford's copyright.

The writs adds: "The Plaintiff's Director of Music and Bibles Publishing discovered a copy of the film on video for sale in Italy in November 1993."

Oxford is calling for an injunction stopping Decca from selling these videos in the UK, toegether with damages of up to pounds 50,000.

Two racecourses, Plumpton and Fontwell, are suing their former managing agent, Cliff Griggs, in a row over fees. Fontwell Park Steeplechase Plc and The Plumpton Racecourse Plc have issued writs for damages against Mr Griggs, who trades as Pratt & Co and who stopped working for them in 1996.

The two writs were issued by Forsyte Saunders Kerman, a firm of solicitors based in London. Andy Kerman, a member of the family which controlled both racecourses until Plumpton was sold recently, is a member of the law firm.

The racecourses are damanding damages for breach of contract and for "fraudulent misrepresentation by the Defendant orally and in writing on divers occasions..."

The writs also demand the return of "money paid by the Plaintiff to the defendant under a mistake of fact as to what sums were properly chargeable to the Plaintiff by the Defendant..."

The racecourse owners also demand a complete account of the money paid to the defendant.