Q&As

What impact did the findings in Marathon v Seddon have on awards of ‘Wrotham Park’ damages? Are ‘Wrotham Park’ (or negotiating) damages regularly awarded?

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Produced in partnership with James Tunley of Lamb Chambers
Last updated on 20/09/2018

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with James Tunley of Lamb Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What impact did the findings in Marathon v Seddon have on awards of ‘Wrotham Park’ damages? Are ‘Wrotham Park’ (or negotiating) damages regularly awarded?
  • ‘Wrotham Park’ damages
  • Marathon v Seddon

What impact did the findings in Marathon v Seddon have on awards of ‘Wrotham Park’ damages? Are ‘Wrotham Park’ (or negotiating) damages regularly awarded?

‘Wrotham Park’ damages

Derived from the case of Wrotham Park Estate Co v Parkside Homes Ltd, ‘negotiating damages’ (or ‘licence fee’ damages as they are also referred to) are recoverable to represent such a sum that the defendant would have reasonably paid had they, prior to breaching their obligations, negotiated a release from those obligations. For further information on negotiated damages and the related case law, see Practice Note: Negotiating damages for contractual breach. Assessing damages in such cases and considering what price would have been negotiated is usually based on a hypothetical scenario.

Marathon v Seddon

In Marathon Asset Management LLP v James Seddon, proceedings were brought against former employees, one of whom admitted to having copied confidential information in breach of his contract of employment. Although the information was never actually used and, therefore, Marathon suffered no financial loss (and nor had the former employees gained financially), Marathon argued that the employees were liable in damages for the value of the confidential information, which was estimated at £15m.

As there had been no financial loss or gain as a result of the breach, Marathon did not seek damages in the ordinary sense or an account of profits and chose to confine the claim to

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Key definition:
Damages definition
What does Damages mean?

The monetary compensation awarded by law to a person for the legal wrong done to him.

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