Rebecca Ferguson sued by former management

Rebecca FergusonSuzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

X-Factor runner up Rebecca Ferguson is being sued by her former managers for breach of contract. Modest Management and the soul singer were said to be experiencing differences this summer. There were tweets and emails fired off, and their relationship came to an end.

However, that isn't the end of the story - because at that point they were thought to be halfway through their five year contract. So what happens next?
%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%According to The BBC, Modest Management has filed a High Court writ, asking for a declaration that Ferguson unlawfully ended her contract, and asking for 20% of any future earnings.

Tweets

The tensions between Ferguson and her management team went public in July this year when she took to Twitter to complain about how Modest had treated her. On 13 July she issued a series of Tweets, saying:

"resorting to stalking my twitter the same people that watched me collapse ... And gave me a can of coke and said now go do your interview"

"The same people that worked me so much I collapsed and had to say stop!!! I need to see my children you need to give me time off vile!!!!

"Was so exhausted I couldn't physically walk on my own but was still told I had to work!!! ‪#vile‬"

"See you in court!!! ‪#greedyvermon‬"

"Be nice to have a nice new responsible caring management team!! Who care for me and my childrens well being ‪#seeyouincourt‬!!!"

Contract

However, the BBC says that the court papers suggest that the action had taken place in June, in an email exchange.

A lawyer from Modest claimed that Ferguson had signed a five-year management contract in October 2010. He said that she then took steps to end the contract in June. He issued the court with an email saying: "I am really unhappy with how I have been treated by you over the last couple of months and how miserable I have become. The deterioration of my health has not been relevent [sic] to you until this week when it reached another low point. I have lost all faith and trust in you as managers so I have no option but to terminate our working relationship with immediate effect."

Modest's lawyers then wrote to her, saying it accepted her "renunciation and repudiation of the management agreement". The court papers say she wrote back saying she "did not accept" this.

Explained

Stephen Luckman, a lawyer with Sheridans, who specialises in the music industry, explains that the language used by the management company was intended to indicate that they believed the fault lay with Ferguson.

He says: "It is saying that she is in breach of the agreement, but they are accepting the termination of the agreement. The nature of these sorts of contracts is that a management company cannot force an artist to continue to work for them, but they can claim damages."

He added that this sort of case was common in the 1970s and 1980s, and the main case was Armatrading and Stone, which "set the boundaries for management agreements." Since then he says that in many instances of an artist and their management company parting ways, they will come to a settlement. However he added: "There are no certainties. Sometimes it comes down to personalities."

It will be up to the court to decide what happened, and what should happen next. In the interim, Ferguson's tweets seem more positive. On 17 July she tweeted: "I've got rid of all the negative people in my life ... And I feel so much happier works going great kids are happy ‪#lifesgood‬ xxx."
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