( Ralph Gibson, Beldam, Peter Gibson LJJ)
12 July 1993
(reported in [ 1994] Entertainment and Media Law Reports 44)
BELDAM LJ: On 18th March 1992 His Honour Judge Micklem sitting as a judge of the Chancery Division struck out the appellants' pleadings against the first defendant on the ground that the facts alleged by them disclosed no reasonable cause of action against her. The appellants claimed that the first defendant, respondent to the appeal, had wrongfully induced or procured the second defendant to break its contracts with them and that they had suffered damage as a result.
The respondent, Miss Shirley Bassey, is an exceptionally talented singer and recording artist of international renown. The second defendant company, 'Dreampace', is a producer of records and is entitled to her recording services. In the autumn of 1990 Dreampace wished to produce an album of songs performed by the respondent and for that purpose approached the first appellant, who is well-known as a producer of recorded popular music. Negotiations took place which included the projected budget, the type of songs, the selection of musicians to provide the backing and accompaniment and the amount of the fees and royalties payable to the first appellant. These negotiations continued during November and December. On 23rd November 1990 the respondent in a document described as a letter of inducement personally guaranteed the performance by her own management company, S.S.M. Productions Inc., of its agreement with Dreampace. On 4th December the respondent met the first appellant and Mr Alan Belman of Dreampace to discuss the selection of songs. On 21st December at a further meeting she selected some of the songs for the album and agreed to attend rehearsals starting on 7th January 1991. Arrangements were made to book recording studios and for the attendance of the other appellants who had been engaged to provide