20:20 in legal fight over Brightstar’s Baxendale


Brightstar said last week that Baxendale, who previously worked under Brightstar Europe president Rod Millar at 20:20, had replaced Christina Meade as UK chief, effective from October 1.

But 20:20 applied to the High Court in Manchester on September 28 to halt the move on the grounds that Baxendale had contravened his exit terms from 20:20 by joining the rival distributor.

20:20 law firm Halliwells said in a statement: “20:20 Logistics made an urgent application to the High Court for an order restraining Richard Baxendale from commencing work for Brightstar Europe in the week commencing October 1.”

It added: “Mr Baxendale was represented at the hearing. The application was successful and, as a result, Mr Baxendale cannot provide services to anyone other than 20:20 Logistics until the trial of this action, which will take place on November 12 and 13.”

20:20 chief Mark Ryan (pictured), understood to be particularly tough on enforcing anti-competitive clauses in staff contracts, ordered the crackdown.

Neither Brightstar nor Baxendale was available for comment at the time of going to press.

Baxendale quit 20:20 in March. He said in a press statement on his appointment to Brightstar last week: “I look forward to building a successful and dynamic business for Brightstar in the UK.”

Meanwhile, Brightstar said Meade had stepped into a European business development role as part of a number of “strategic pre-planned management appointments” to make way for Baxendale, following a slow start for the UK distribution arm, which is a joint-venture with Tech Data.

Millar, who has also been precluded from working in the UK until now because of his severance terms from 20:20, last week assumed official control of all Brightstar’s European operations.