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11 March 2014

Charles Russell secure trial win for client BSkyB

This article was written prior to the formation of Charles Russell Speechlys, through the merger between Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham.

After a trial lasting a week in February 2014, Mr Justice Birss today gave judgment in favour of CR client BSkyB, dismissing a claim that confidential information had been misused in developing music competition show "Must Be The Music" (screened on Sky One in August and September 2010).

Music industry couple Brian Wade and Geraldine Perry claimed that the broadcaster had taken elements from a pitch they had made previously. They issued High Court proceedings in July 2012.

But the Judge ruled that their claim was wrong. He said:

"I accept Sky's evidence. I find that Must Be The Music was created entirely independently...Sky did not misuse that confidential information in any way. The programme Must Be The Music was derived independently. The action must be dismissed."

Commenting on the ruling, Nick Armstrong, partner at Charles Russell, said: "Some cases unfortunately need to be fought all the way to trial. This was one of them. The Judge recognised the weight of the evidence and arguments we advanced, and delivered an important judgment that will be helpful for our client and for the broadcasting industry more widely."

The Charles Russell team was led by Nick Armstrong, assisted by Vicky Butterworth, James Quartermaine, Ben Rees and Bethan Richards, with John Baldwin QC and Lindsay Lane of 8 New Square as Counsel.