Herbies and Brick Court seal victory in long-awaited BSkyB judgment

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  • This was a long awaited decision and one that reflects the enormous difficulties in proving misrep. The liability was capped at £30m and it is astonishing how BSkyB managed to get round this by proving deceit (somehow I am not convinced). I think an appeal is likely to be allowed (and likely to lead to a different judgement) as BskyB lost most of the legal arguments according to other reports. Completing the contract themselves at a staggering £275m and then claiming it back from EDS seems ludricous and wouldn't wash in the norm. I think the length of time that it took to reach judgment proves that there is a lot to look at here.

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  • I read with some interest the final outcome of this unnecessarily long and drawn out case.
    It should be remembered that Sky is a Murdoch company and approach this decision with the hindsight of the results of the findings of the Leveson enquiry and additionally with the insight of the recent TV programme of the rise and fall of Mr Murdoch. Your conclusions can only bring considerable doubt upon the testimony of any Sky company if these facts are taken into account especially when having testimony from "news of the world" senior executives severely criticised at the leveson enquiry.
    Sky made a claim for almost £1.0 billion far outreaching any cost they may have incurred through the sacking of EDS. This is typical of the behaviour of Sky as I can personally confirm. They claimed at court that their set top boxes cost them £147.00 each, refused to produce the invoices or a confirming statement from any of their suppliers. The true cost was closer to £35.00 each as we were advised not significant until you consider that they made a claim for the loss of around 10,000 boxes from one company alone and withheld payments from 5 of the 10 subcontractors on this basis ,which resulted in all the subcontractors being compulsory liquidated saving Sky from paying those subcontractors more than a few million owed for work done and causing hundreds of job losses and redundancy payments being met from the government purse.
    In addition when one former subcontractor decided to fight the case the firm of Herbert Smith were used in defending the claim and played the normal delaying tactics to run up costs in the hope of exhausting the funds available to complete the claim. In spite of disproving the allegation of the lost boxes the amount of £628,000 admitted in writing as owed by Sky for the work done was reduced by Simon j to £100,000 because, he claimed, the late amendment to the claim by the solicitor acting for the claimant would have changed Sky's case and he dismissed £531,000 of the admitted debt due to late attempts to amend. The lateness was entirely the responsibility of the solicitor acting and had judge Simon properly understood the case and properly consider the claimants position, it could not have changed Sky's case for lost boxes one bit.
    Sky have a reputation for their use of the law courts and continue to behave similarly, as far as I can see, by overstating their claim and causing very significant costs to anyone who dares not to accept their accusations in order to scare off any claim and therefore cost to Sky, not to mention the avoidance of paying the outstanding debt.
    All this happened between 2000 and 2002 When this new electronic customer management system was allegedly being designed and implemented at Sky.
    As a layman it becomes increasingly clear that the legal system is being seriously manipulated by the powerful and wealthy in order to avoid true justice as ordinary people in the street would see it, in order to make the rich wealthier and ensure that those legal practitioners involved do very nicely from their legal manipulation.
    It should also be considered that Sky could well have been in a very precarious position at this time financially, as not only had they seen off BSB at a cost but had spent a fortune buying into the control of football TV, setting up its London and huge Scottish operations and absorbing the true cost of converting every existing and new client to digital reception. I estimate the cost of each new digital installation to be around £100. We were completing somewhere in the region of 300 to 500 installations per day and a similar amount of service calls in addition. At the time the average monthly subscription was in the region of £30 thus leaving a two to two and a half month financial shortfall on money spent. Sky now have around 10 million paying customers spending on average around £45 to £50 per month. There were 10, in total, subcontractors in addition to a very large number of in house installation and service crews. I'm no mathematician but it would appear to me the potential for financial meltdown was very real at that time, a point made in the television programme.
    Was this the reason for the repeat of the Murdoch style business already shown during the acquisition of the newspapers that became part of Newscorp ? We mere mortals will never know but will behaviour by rich and powerful business men who push the boundaries of decency continue to be tolerated or will the legal system, that gains so much from such behaviour, take those who create so much damage to the fabric of the working mans society, do its job and remove such "pirates" from the society that ordinary people treasure and respect? Will anybody seek to find a way to prosecute Mr Murdoch personally for the carnage and damage he has bought to the average person in the street?
    Answers on a postcard please !!!!!!

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