Herbies and Sorrell: friends or foes?

Have Herbert Smith and global advertising magnate Sir Martin Sorrell fallen out? Historically Herbert Smith and the chief executive of the £7.8bn WPP Group have had a cosy relationship, but the tycoon’s latest libel settlement found the law firm working with the opposition.

Sorrell got into bed with Carter-Ruck to deal with proceedings against Marco Benatti, the founder of Italian media company FullSIX, and his chief executive Marco Tinelli.

The marketing guru accused the two Italians of waging an internet hate campaign against him, and so sued for libel and invasion of privacy.

But is this the end of Herbert Smith’s and Sorrell’s relationship?One Herbert Smith insider thinks not.

“All relationships go through ruts and perhaps that was the situation here, or he simply wanted a more specialist firm,” the source says. “At the end of the day, though, Herbert Smith and Martin still have a good bond.”