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Vivienne Westwood terminates franchise contract with Hervia Limited

Vivienne Westwood has reached an out-of-court settlement with its long-term franchise partner Hervia Limited to terminate its contract with the firm.

Hervia Limited, which ran seven Vivienne Westwood stores, has accepted a pay-off from Vivienne Westwood so that the designer can take back the leases and running of stores in Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Nottingham.

Manchester-based Hervia will continue with its other interests, including luxury indie Hervia Bazaar and the running of Adidas venture with designer Yohji Yamamoto, Y-3, for which it has the licence. It will relaunch its website, Hervia.com, today, bringing Hervia Bazaar and Y3, under the one site.

The legal dispute between Vivienne Westwood and Hervia Limited over their franchise agreement started last June, when Hervia Limited initiated High Court proceedings for breach of contract after the designer expressed her intention to end their agreement.

There was a 60-year franchise arrangement between the two parties since 1995, which gave Hervia permission to operate branded stores.

The claim by Hervia sought an injunction to prevent Vivienne Westwood Limited from breaching the agreement again and addressed award of damages for past breaches.

Hervia chairman Richard Duncalf confirmed that a settlement had been reached but declined to give further details.

A statement from Vivienne Westwood said that both companies had enjoyed a successful business relationship since 1995 and wished each other the best for the future.

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