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Star Wars Makers Pay for Unlawfully Procuring a Breach of Contract

It is unlawful to interfere with others’ contractual relationships and, with the right legal advice, victims of such conduct can win just compensation. In one case, a Star Wars fan whose plan to beam a live interview with an actor who played Darth Vader into cinemas was unlawfully scuppered won almost £40,000 in damages.

The businessman had reached a contractual agreement with the organiser of a Star Wars convention that he would be permitted to film the interview and other highlights of the event with a view to showing the footage on cinema screens. However, the makers of the Star Wars films were concerned that the project might have a damaging effect on the success of the saga’s latest instalment.

After the makers threatened legal action and brought pressure to bear on the event’s organiser, the latter apologetically withdrew from the contract. The businessman was left high and dry and launched proceedings against the makers, accusing them of unlawfully procuring a breach of contract. Had his project proceeded unchecked, he estimated that he would have made a profit in excess of £1.3 million.

In upholding his claim, the High Court found that, but for the makers’ interference, his project would probably have proceeded and his film would have stood a real and significant chance of achieving 150 cinema screenings. Although the project would not have been as profitable as he hoped, the Court found that he would have made £39,504 after expenses. The makers were ordered to pay him that sum by way of damages.

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