Saatchi vs. Saatchi wars end

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A formal cessation of hostilities was declared Monday in the Saatchi vs. Saatchi wars. London-based Cordiant and Maurice Saatchi agreed to an out-of-court settlement that is virtually a complete victory for Mr. Saatchi in his five-month campaign against the company he once headed as chairman. All legal actions on a worldwide basis have ended. Maurice can continue to use the Saatchi name, although he will have to call his new shop M & C Saatchi Agency; it had been widely referred to as the New Saatchi Agency, prompting a lawsuit from Saatchi & Saatchi Co. (now Cordiant). Cordiant has also dropped its lawsuit against Charles and Maurice Saatchi seeking a share of their $40 million settlement with Adidas Chairman Robert Louis-Dreyfus for giving up a stake in the sports clothing company. Cordiant had argued that the brothers were mixing corporate and personal business. The issue of how soon ex-Saatchi executives could break loose of their contracts and begin working for Maurice has been resolved more quickly than expected. Four senior executives--Jeremy Sinclair, David Kershaw, Bill Muirhead and Simon Dicketts--will be free to starting working for Maurice on May 31. A trial was scheduled to start June 12 over non-compete agreements in the executives' employment contracts. Cordiant also agreed to drop a $50 million U.S. lawsuit it filed against Mr. Muirhead, its former North American CEO, claiming a breach of contract and alleging theft of company records. Legal action over Maurice's right to use the Saatchi name in Australia also has been dropped. For its part, M & C Saatchi agreed "not to solicit or act for Saatchi & Saatchi, Bates or Zenith Media clients or employ their staff, other than those who have already moved, until 31st December 1995." This promise comes after M & C Saatchi has already pried $210 million in business away from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, including British Airways, Qantas Airways, Dixons consumer electronics, Gallaher's Silk Cut cigarettes and Mirror Group Newspapers. Dozens of ex-Saatchi staff have already joined M & C Saatchi. Monday's brief Cordiant statement also said that "any issues in respect of Maurice and Charles Saatchi's pensions are closed."

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