An arbitrator has recently ruled that Kevin Spacey has breached his contract with the company that produces ‘House of Cards’. The arbitrator has awarded MRC, the production company, $31 million in damages and made an award of expenses over and above that.
Kevin Spacey was fired by MRC following sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him. So, how does this relate to his contract with MRC? MRC’s attorneys successfully argued that by embarking upon the problematic course of conduct, he breached standards for workplace conduct, including MRC’s harassment policy.
This ruling is interesting for two purposes; firstly, it reinforces the benefits of arbitration. Arbitration can be a quicker and less expensive route for resolving disputes than raising an action in the Sheriff Court. You can find more information about arbitration here:
Secondly, this matter reinforces the importance of having in place well-drafted contracts and policies which protect your business from any reputational impact caused by the behaviour of associated parties.
One of the best examples of this is the reliance companies now have on influencers for the purposes of marketing. Although influencers can have a huge impact on the growth of companies and brands, by contracting with influencers whose own ‘brand’ is their personality and image, you are intrinsically linking the two. The consequence of this is that, when influencers do or say something which does not fit with your ethos, plan for the development of your business, or even your ethics – in the minds of consumers, your business will be associated with their conduct which could then have an impact on the performance of your organisation.
This is particularly relevant around Christmas as brands push to be market leaders in their sectors whilst consumers are simply spending more money, or businesses try and attract further sales or clients as we approach the end of this financial quarter. Influencers can be a fantastic marketing tool for growing your business in a digital age. However, it is absolutely crucial that you put in place the correct protection on a proactive basis rather than having to be reactive when something goes wrong.
Should you have a dispute with an individual or company who are associated with your business, we can assist with breach of contract matters; as well as provide reputational management services. Further, if you are considering contracting with influencers, or indeed any other parties then we can assist with drafting contract agreements.
Get in touch and book your consultation with our specialist Dispute Resolution team on 0141 736 0030 or via the online where we can discuss options suited to your particular case.
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