The Supreme Court of NSW has delivered judgment for bestselling author Kate Morton in a long-running dispute with her former literary agent, Selwa Anthony.
Ms Anthony alleged there was an oral agreement with Ms Morton, entitling Ms Anthony to a continuing 15% commission on earnings for Ms Morton’s first six books, even after her agency was terminated. By way of cross-claim, Ms Morton claimed that Ms Anthony had failed to properly act in her interests, including by failing to obtain more advantageous publishing terms reflecting her increasing success.
The Court found in favour of Ms Morton on both counts – rejecting the claim for ongoing commission and finding that Ms Anthony negligently failed to properly advise Ms Morton in relation to “world rights” deals for her fifth and sixth novels.
Ms Anthony was ordered to pay more than $500,000 in damages. The costs of the proceedings will be determined early in the new year.
The judgment is available online. Simpsons Solicitors acted for Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, Macmillan Publishers International Limited, Simon & Schuster, Inc. and Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH in connection with the proceedings.
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