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Summary Judgements & Force Majeure: How The Premier League Recovered $213mn From PPLive

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Monday, 08 August 2022 By Jamie Curle, Chris Morris, Katherine Roe

In the recent High Court case of The Football Association Premier League Limited v PPLive Sports International Limited1, the Premier League secured an early victory against PPLive Sports International (PPLive), its former broadcasting partner in China and Macau, by obtaining summary judgment for US$ 213 million (plus interest and costs) without the need for a full trial.

PPLive held the rights to show Premier League matches in China and Macau during the 2019/20 and 2021/22 seasons. However, in March and June 2020, PPLive failed to pay the Premier League two instalments of fees due under the two agreements between the parties being the Live Package Agreement and Clips Package Agreement (Agreements), citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

The Premier League terminated the Agreements and sued PPLive in the English Commercial Court for the debts due under the Agreements. PPLive served a Defence and Counterclaim in which it raised a wide range of defences, as well as counterclaiming for unjust enrichment.

The Premier League then successfully applied for summary judgment in respect of its debt claims on the basis that PPLive had “no real prospect of successfully defending the claim on either of the two instalments” and there were “no other compelling reasons why the case should be disposed of at a trial”.

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Written by

Jamie Curle

Jamie Curle

Jamie Curle is a partner in the Litigation & Arbitration team at DLA Piper in London with over 20 years’ experience advising clients in the financial services, energy and natural resources, media sport and entertainment and consumer goods, food and retail sectors.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris

Chris is a Senior Associate at DLA Piper whose practice focuses on a broad mix of commercial disputes, sports law disputes, international arbitration, financial services litigation, and regulatory and internal investigations. He has experience acting in international commercial arbitrations administered under the rules of all major international arbitral institutions, as well as in ad hoc proceedings.

Chris has also spent time on secondment to a leading global investment bank, providing legal support on a broad range of matters within their Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings team.
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Katherine Roe

Katherine Roe

Katherine Roe is an associate at DLA Piper and her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and international arbitration. Her experience includes a broad range of high-value contractual disputes and corporate merger and acquisition disputes.

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