There has been a great deal of press comment recently centred on claims against ITV Digital.

The real issue is of course whether claims can be made by the Nationwide League against the parent companies, as it has become painfully clear that ITVD is being hung out to dry. The investments made in it so far appear effectively to have been written off (even if the current administration procedure is being used as a tactical measure).

It is said the strength of the league's claim against the parent companies is ambiguous, with the result that it may have to settle for substantially less than the sum due upon the contract with ITVD. This apparently results from the failure to proceed with a "long form" of agreement. Much of the league's very existence appears at present to ride upon the proverbial `fag packet' contract.

Why, the league and its members may ask, are we in this position? It is not difficult to foresee that substantial claims might eventually be made against the league's various advisers and consequently, sooner or later, will end up in the London Market. Perhaps some underwriters have used the hardened market since 11 September to shore up their existing underwriting positions. Whatever the truth of this issue, the potential for substantial claims of this sort could hardly be worse timed.

Keith Gaston
Gaston Whybrew Solicitors