Full case report
Butters v Clarkson
Date of Judgment 21 May 2003
Media law – Publishing – Contract – Uncertainty
Jeremy Clarkson made a publishing agreement with old school friend Peter Butters. The two fell out over this, and Butters sued Clarkson alleging breach of the agreement.
Whether the parties could mediate a settlement.
The case was mediated to a satisfactory conclusion.
This was a case where strong feelings were aroused, but it was nonetheless possible to settle at the end of a long day with a CEDR mediator. One interesting issue that arose concerned the enforceability of the obligation Clarkson undertook, to use his best endeavours to assist in the negotiation of a publishing agreement with a third party. Was this an unenforceable ‘duty to negotiate in good faith’, or was it a ‘best endeavours’ provision which the courts would enforce?
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