'Sunday World' settles contract row with crime reporter
THE 'Sunday World' newspaper yesterday settled its High Court action in which it sought to compel its crime editor, Paul Williams, to work three months' notice before moving to rival 'News of the World'.
The court was due to hear proceedings on whether a temporary injunction granted to the 'Sunday World' last week should continue, pending a full hearing on the matter.
Following talks yesterday, counsel for the 'Sunday World' told Mr Justice Roderick Murphy that the matter had been resolved amicably.
The judge agreed to a request from counsel to strike the matter out with no order as to costs and discharged last week's injunction.
The 'Sunday World' had argued that under an agreement with the National Union of Journalists covering Mr Williams employment contract, he was obliged to serve a period of three months' notice.
Under another agreement between Mr Williams and the newspaper in November 2006, the journalist was to receive an annual salary of €145,000, to increase by 2.5pc in January 2008 and 2009, the court heard. He was to receive added pay for promotional work.
That contract was to run from January 2007 until January 12, 2010.
Mr Williams, who has been a reporter with the newspaper since 1988, informed the paper's managing director, Gerry Lennon, on January 14 of his intention to leave and work for the 'News of the World'.
When the case was mentioned during the week, counsel for Mr Williams accused the 'Sunday World' of sour grapes and said its attempt to stop him moving to another newspaper was anti-competitive.
In the proceedings against Mr Williams, it was claimed proper notice was required because the 'Sunday World' had advertisement campaigns, involving Mr Williams, which were planned three to six months in advance.
The newspaper had also provided security measures for Mr Williams, in recognition of his position as crime editor, which had only been upgraded last month.