Opal claims win against EasyAir


Opal Telecom has claimed victory in its court case with EasyAir over breach of contract after the majority of its claims were dismissed by the High Court.

Two claims have been allowed to go to trial. But Mr Justice Lewison stressed he had not ruled in favour of EasyAir and that Opal may win those claims too.

“Opal were undoubtedly the successful party,” said Mr Justice Lewison in his judgement. “I do not consider that the suggested grounds of appeal have a real prospect of success. I therefore refuse permission to appeal.”

The remaining claims, which will be referred to the Manchester District Registry, are considered to be worth less than five per cent of the claims that were dismissed. The total claims had initially been estimated at £13 million.

The dispute began after Opal purchased the subscriber base of EasyAir, then trading as OpenAir, on the condition that Opal would pay EasyAir a percentage of the profits. After O2 withdrew network services from OpenAir, Opal stopped paying revenue to EasyAir.

EasyAir has been ordered to pay 90 per cent of Opal’s costs, including an interim payment of £50,000 to be paid within 21 days (by April 29). The total costs have been estimated at £109,000.

EasyAir director Anthony Lloyd-Weston (pictured) said: “In light of the recent judgement in the EasyAir claim against Opal Telecom, clearly there is a complex debate, in this case and others in the UK and Europe, regarding English law with the compatibility and application of governing EU legislation within the EU community.

“We have not had that debate before the courts in the UK or the EU. On other aspects of the EasyAir claim, the Judge has decided that they should go to trial. We now have to seek advice regarding our position and proposed actions.”