Who's Suing Whom: Face-off over Fayed's mansion

THE PUBLISHERS of Architectural Digest are suing OK! magazine over two photographs of the late Dodi Fayed's Malibu mansion which the former claims were printed without attribution or royalty payments.

OK! magazine is published by Northern & Shell, a London-based company chaired by Richard Desmond, which also publishes titles such as Penthouse and Asian Babes.

The photographs concerned were taken in January 1994 by Mary E Nichols, a photographer based in New York. The photos were of a Tuscan-style villa in Malibu, California, which was bought by Dodi Fayed three years later.

Advance Magazine Publishers (AMP), which owns Architectural Digest, bought a half share in the copyright of the photographs last July, and printed them in its magazine the same month. The company had sent pre- publicity copies of the magazine to newspapers the previous month. They allowed The Times to print two of the photos, which were attributed to the American publication.

AMP claims that representatives of OK! magazine started phoning Architectural Digest asking for copies of the photos and for permission to publish them. The magazine refused. OK! then claimed that Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi Fayed's father, had granted them permission. The magazine replied that Mr Fayed did not own the copyright to the photos.

The magazine, according to AMP, was subsequently phoned "by one Lori or Leslie who claimed to represent Mohammed Fayed". The magazine repeated that Mr Fayed did not own the copyright.

On 30 July 1998 OK! published some of the photos. Last week AMP and Mary E Nichols started legal action against Northern & Shell alleging that it had infringed their copyright, and demanding damages and costs.

Northern & Shell's solicitors Davenport Lyons said last week that the company would fight the case.

ONE OF Lincoln's Inn's oldest law firms is championing a "Nimby's Charter" for owner/ occupiers of homes on pre-war suburban estates who want to stop developers from building over their gardens and neighbouring land.

Dawson & Co, a firm of solicitors founded in 1729, has beaten four "large, well-known developers" who wanted to build schemes on "brownfield" sites around the fringes of London over the past couple of years.

It has done so by using a comparatively simple and inexpensive legal weapon - the restrictive covenant.

Joanna Keddie, a partner with Dawson & Co, explains that the technique works particularly well for people who live on suburban estates built in the 1920s and 1930s, where a large number of houses were all sold with similar conditions and where all have identical restrictive covenants in their title deeds.

If these covenants restrict further building within the vicinity, as they almost always do, says Ms Keddie, then a developer can be stopped even before the planning permission stage.

Dawson & Co have stopped housing schemes in Ealing, Chesham Bois and Cheam on behalf of existing residents in the past two years by getting a declaration from the High Court that the residents' covenants forbid further building.

Once such a ruling is issued, not only is the proposed scheme stopped, but any alternative scheme in the future is also blocked, says Ms Keddie. It prevents big property developers "riding roughshod" over local residents.

One of the important parts of the process consists of "bringing in" as many residents on an estate as possible when they apply for a court declaration against a scheme.

Last week Dawson & Co issued a writ on behalf of 46 residents of Chelmerton Avenue in Chelmsford, Essex, in an attempt to include ten other residents on the Avenue in the declaration process.

REUTERS, the business information giant, is suing Freshfields, its long- time legal adviser, claiming that the City law firm caused it to significantly overpay for a company it bought five years ago.

In 1993 Freshfields carried out a due diligence investigation on behalf of Reuters into VAMP Health, an on-line health information company that Reuters subsequently bought for pounds 13m.

Now Reuters is accusing Freshfields of "breach of duty". It claims the law firm failed to alert it over a contract between VAMP and a third party which has ended up costing VAMP more than pounds 1.6m. This almost swallowed up VAMP's entire profits for 1993, of pounds 1.7m.

The acquisition of VAMP, a small British company specialising in computer services to doctors, marked Reuters' debut in healthcare and was supposed to spearhead the group's ambitious drive into IT systems for the medical industry.

Reuters claims that an agreement between VAMP and Intelligent Computer Services (ICS), which gave VAMP exclusive rights to sell ICS' "TALK" computer software in the UK, meant VAMP was worth far less than the due diligence report suggested.

VAMP had agreed to pay ICS certain sums if it failed to reach certain sales targets for TALK.

In the event, sales of TALK were disappointing and in 1996 ICS launched legal proceedings against VAMP, claiming pounds 1,601,966 under the terms of the agreement.

Reuters now claims that if Freshfields had told it of the ICS deal: "Reuters, having regard to the risks associated ... would have refused to pay the price which it did in order to acquire the shares in VAMP and would only have purchased such shares (if it purchased them at all) on terms which fully reflected such risks."

A spokeswoman for Freshfields said last week: "Yes, we have received the writ, and yes, we are defending the action." Freshfields is using another City law firm, Lovell White Durrant, to fight its case.

sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
ebooksNow available in paperback
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

Argyll Scott International: Business Analyst - MGA - London Market - Insurance Broker

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Argyll Scott International: A Business A...

Ashdown Group: PR, Marketing & Events Executive - Southwark, London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: PR Marketing & Events Exe...

Selby Jennings: C++ Developer – Hedge Fund – New York

$80000 - $110000 per annum, Benefits: Bonus and Employee Investment Scheme: Se...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible