Lawyers on both sides of the Kitcatt Nohr versus Publicis High Court case have now wrapped up their arguments, although it is understood it could be months before the judge – Mr Justice Males – hands down the court’s decision.
The claim has been brought by eight members of Kitcatt Nohr’s management team, including agency backer Clive Mishon, planning chief Richard Madden and creative director Phil Keevill, as well as co-founders Paul Kitcatt, Marc Nohr, Vonnie Alexander and the estate of the late Jeremy Shaw.
At stake is up to £8.5m, including £4.9m in unpaid earn-outs and £3.6m in damages for breach of contract, which the former shareholders claim they missed out on.
The case centres on pledges Publicis executives gave Kitcatt Nohr’s team about the strength of Digitas’ relationship with Procter & Gamble, which accounted for 52.7% of its revenues, ahead of the deal and merger of the two agencies. Kitcatt Nohr bosses claim they were told the account was safe, despite it being a “project based relationship”.
However, the claimants’ QC Andrew Sutcliffe told the court that the “impending loss of Digitas UK’s P&G business had in fact been widely anticipated within Publicis and Digitas UK since as early as July 2010”.
Publicis denied any such reassurances were made.
Kitcatt Nohr chiefs sue Publicis in £8.5m earn-out claim