Fishlock wins $300,000 in Campaign Palace legal battle

Paul FishlockCreative Paul Fishlock has won his long running legal battle with WPP’s now defunct The Campaign Palace.

Fishlock began legal action after being squeezed out of his $350,000 a year job at the agency in early 2011. Fishlock had been executive creative director when Reed Collins was appointed into a similar role but with the differing title of chief creative officer.

Fishlock only found out about the move in the trade press.

He took legal action against The Campaign Palace’s parent company Y&R Brands seeking redundancy payments and long service leave entitlements.

The week long case was heard in February. Part of the debate hinged on whether Fishlock’s role was a truly national one or whether Melbourne was broadly independent of him

Among the witnesses called by Fishlock was former Y&R Brands CEO Nigel Marsh, who backed his version of events.

Yesterday afternoon, Fishlock heard that he had been successful.

A statement from Y&R Brands said: “While we are disappointed that the court has awarded some damages to Paul Fishlock, we believe it is significant that the decision awards him substantially less than he sought. We are pleased that the court has found that the covenants he was subject to were reasonable and that certain of his claims were rejected. We are currently evaluating our next steps, including whether to appeal.”

A statement from Fishlock said: “I’m pleased that this long and extraordinary adventure is now over and delighted that the judgment is so unequivocal. It’s crazy that any employee of any agency should have to spend almost two and a half years in the Supreme Court and many hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to get basic entitlements such as notice period and long service leave. I hope this judgment gets as much coverage as possible on all sides of the marketing world.”

Justice John Sacker ordered that Fishlock be paid around $300,000, with costs to be settled later.

Comment: The vindication of Paul Fishlock


  1. fleshpeddler
    10 May 13
    2:14 pm

  2. YIPPEE!

    good on you Paul, you are a gentleman and you did not deserve that treatment.

  3. Anonymous
    10 May 13
    2:44 pm

  4. omg. shameful.

  5. Glenn Mabbott
    10 May 13
    3:04 pm

  6. Y&R say “We are currently evaluating our next steps, including whether to appeal.”

    Current and future employees await Y&R management’s response, in light of Paul’s comment “It’s crazy that any employee of any agency should have to spend almost two and a half years in the Supreme Court and many hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to get basic entitlements “

  7. geepers
    10 May 13
    3:05 pm

  8. Sounds like David vs Goliath to me and that Goliath used bully-boy tactics.

  9. Rob
    10 May 13
    4:10 pm

  10. i found out I was being retrenched from (edited by Mumbrella for legal reasons) whilst taking to a mate from another agency I bumped into at a recording session. Turns out that he’d been approached to work with the freelance art director I was with. I called the agency to ask what was going on, and I was summarily dismissed. Go figure.

  11. no expert
    10 May 13
    4:26 pm

  12. You don’t have be a legal expert to see that he was treated disrespectfully.

    For an organisation who should understand all too well the power of reputation. They seem pretty lousy at their jobs.

    And they’re still trying to defend themselves.

  13. The Grey Ghost
    10 May 13
    4:28 pm

  14. Well, that $300,000 should almost square things with his legal squad. It’s a cliche but in matters like this, only the lawyers win.

  15. Who was described in court as
    10 May 13
    4:46 pm

  16. “an arrogant leader in New York”. lacking “commercial savvy” and a “bully”?

  17. Justice Katzenhammered
    10 May 13
    4:54 pm

  18. This is as good as it gets really: Mumbrella reporting on Ben Colman and now the Palace coup de farce… effing brilliant, including the (valid) swipe at CBs Lynchie (CB noticeably not reporting this issue, yes?)

    May I therefore remind readers to correlate and refresh their minds of another learned judgement, viz:

    In her judgement on Moss versus Lowe Hunt & Partners, The Hon Justice Katzmann described Colman as “an unimpressive witness, who presented as one who was inclined to say what he thought at the time might help him or the case he had been called to support. It was difficult to know when he was telling the truth. Where his evidence is in conflict with that of Mr Moss, I prefer the evidence of Mr Moss.”

  19. Reverend Anaglyph
    10 May 13
    6:41 pm

  20. I worked on the creative side of many projects with Paul some years back, and I always found him to be a respectful, talented and generous person. I’ve been out of the ad loop for many years now, but I hate to hear of him being screwed in this way by a company to which he gave a lot of time and energy. Glad he got some vindication.

  21. Michael Blumberg
    10 May 13
    9:42 pm

  22. Paul congratulations on a noble fight well fought
    I have known you for a very long time and expected nothing less from you.
    You deserve your result for holding the line – persevering against the odds until the job was done.
    A bit like fighting for a good ad really.

  23. Barbara WThomas
    10 May 13
    10:25 pm

  24. Justice John Slacker’s findings are an excellent read. The plotters forget it will probably be their turn one day, unless the industry reforms itself.

  25. hmmm...
    11 May 13
    2:43 am

  26. I’m glad Paul won. He’s a good guy and no-one deserves to be treated like that. But the fact that WPP/Y&R are not ruling out an appeal (we all know they won’t appeal, it’s just something you say to make it sound like you actually may have grounds to appeal) tells us that they have learned nothing from this, and won’t change their practices one iota.

    (edited by Mumbrella for legal reasons)

  27. High horse
    11 May 13
    4:03 pm

  28. I like Paul and I’m delighted his claims were proven. He deserves every dollar he gets and then some. But, let’s not kid ourselves. This sort of thing goes on in every agency. In fact, I bet it’s going on right now in a whole number of Australian agencies. What Y&R failed to do was simple – tell Paul his time was up in the appropriate manner. As a ECD/CEO Paul would understand that better than most. That’s the lesson to be learnt here.

  29. bob is a rabbit
    12 May 13
    11:45 am

  30. @highhorse – agree 100%

  31. Martin S
    12 May 13
    3:23 pm

  32. The only senior executive who comes out with any credit here is Nigel Marsh. He bravely did the right thing and told the truth. I don’t know how the others can look themselves in the mirror.