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Seven takes legal action over James Warburton’s move to Ten

Ten has revealed that it is being taken to court by Seven over James Warburton’s proposed start date with the network as its new CEO.

The conflict is understood to be over the question of whether Warburton is free to start at the end of his contract with Seven or must wait out a further non compete period.

Warburton was announced as Ten’s new CEO earlier this month with a July start date.

But Seven quickly signalled that there might be complications, issuing a statement later that day referring to Warburton’s “contractual commitments”.

In an announcement, Ten said:

“Ten Network Holdings Limited (‘Ten Holdings’) today advised that it had received court documents indicating that Seven Network (Operations) Limited (‘Seven’) had initiated proceedings against James Warburton and Ten Holdings relating to the cessation of Mr Warburton’s employment with Seven, contending the existence of employment and post-employment restraints.

“Ten considers that it has acted properly and in a way that is consistent with Mr Warburton’s employment obligations and will be defending any proceedings accordingly.

“Ten looks forward to Mr Warburton commencing with Ten as Chief Executive Officer, as previously announced, on 14 July 2011. As the matter is currently before the courts, Ten will not make any further comment.”

Seven declined to comment today.

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