Marketers win £150k enrichment claim against Formula One team

A marketing company has been awarded £150,000 following a contract dispute with a Formula One racing team.

The case involved Amp Advisory & Management Partners A.G. and Force India Formula One Team Ltd (In Liquidation) (2019).

The issue arose after Force India announced a sponsorship deal with an Austrian company in March 2017.

Amp had dealings with Force India in the period leading up to the conclusion of that deal. It claimed to have introduced the sponsor to Force India and to have reached an agreement with Force India whereby it would receive a commission for doing so.

Force India denied that it was liable to pay commission, so Amp brought claims of breach of contract and unjust enrichment from its services.

The court held that it was likely that at a meeting in February 2017, Force India's team principal had said words to the effect that he was fine with paying a commission. However, viewed objectively, the exchange to that effect was not intended to be legally binding. No binding contract to pay a commission was therefore formed.

However, looking at the services provided by Amp, the evidence revealed that it had contributed to getting the deal done by acting as an intermediary between the sponsor and Force India. The court should therefore impose an enrichment obligation on Force India to pay for the benefits resulting from the services performed.

This was because the services provided by Amp were not of a kind that would normally be given free of charge and Force India had acted in the knowledge that the services were not intended to be given freely.

In addition to this, Force India's commercial director had accepted in cross-examination that he had given Amp the impression that it would be paid a commission, 

As to the level of payment, the objective value of the benefit of the services provided was £150,000.

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