Paul Fishlock case rumbles on as Y&R rejects independent assessment of legal fees

Paul Fishlock


The ongoing legal stoush between Paul Fishlock and Y&R Brands is set to drag into a fourth year after the WPP-backed group refused an external assessment of  how much it should pay of his legal fees.

Last year Fishlock won a Supreme Court ruling for unfair dismissal against Y&R Brands after he was squeezed out of his role as executive creative director of the now defunct Campaign Palace in 2011. He was awarded $300,000 in damages by the court, with Y&R, the parent company of the Palace, ordered to pay his legal costs.

In a statement GPY&R COO Jason Buckley said: “The parties are participating in the usual process for verifying legal/solicitor costs.  There is a normal process that the parties are working through and we are at the beginning of it. As this is private, it is not appropriate that any further comment be made.”

It is understood Fishlock beleives he has racked up around $750,000 in legal fees during the litigation.

In the latest instalment of the ongoing court saga, the bill of costs prepared by an external costs consultant, appointed by Fishlock’s legal team, has been rejected by Y&R who countered with a figure Fishlock has described as “so lowball it’s laughable”.

Fishlock told Mumbrella: “I can only assume it’s part of a strategy to send a message to the industry that if you litigate with WPP you’re in for a world a pain. But I wonder what other messages it’s also sending.”

As a result of the bill of costs being rejected the Supreme Court is required to appoint its own assessor who will determine how much the agency must pay for Fishlock’s legal team.

The court case revealed email chains between Y&R executives including Hamish McLennan, Russel Howcroft and Y&R Global CCO Tony Granger which revealed Y&R management had been searching for a national lead to replace Fishlock after the departure of the Sydney creative director in 2010.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Fishlock after a week in court in February last year, and ordered Y&R to pay the majority of Fishlock’s legal costs, however did not specify the amount.

Fishlock now manages Behaviour Change Partners which he launched in 2012.

Miranda Ward


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