Hammonds in football challenge

The £130m dispute between the Football League and Hammonds over the collapse of ITV Digital has finally kicked off.

The league has not issued a claim form yet, but Hammonds’ insurer has appointed Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, and The Lawyer understands that pre-action correspondence is now taking place.

The league recently instructed Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw to advise on the potential of pursuing the negligence claim against Hammonds, which could be blamed for the league’s £130m loss over ITV Digital.

In 2000, lawyers from Edge Ellison, which is now merged with Hammonds, drafted the league’s contract with ITV Digital’s parent companies Carlton and Granada, agreeing that league clubs would get £315m of revenue from a rights deal with ITV Digital over five years.

Last year the league lost a High Court case against Carlton and Granada, in which it claimed that, following ITV Digital’s collapse, the two companies should stump up the remaining revenue, and now could try and blame the Edge Ellison lawyers’ drafting of the contract for the failure of its case.

Hammonds and the Football League did not wish to comment on the case.