Jeffrey Archer sues his agent over claims he missed out on more than £500,000 from his book deals over 17 years
- Lord Archer claims Curtis Brown did not deliver advances and royalties to him
- Alleges company failed to keep more than 250 documents in publishing deals
- Agency denies the claims and says they had a successful 17-year relationship
Jeffrey Archer is suing his agent after claiming that he missed out on more than £500,000 from his book deals over 17 years.
The life peer accuses Curtis Brown of not delivering advances and royalties from his works.
The author broke off from the agency in March 2019 and says he can prove that he’s owed at least £500,000 and more than £250,000 in interest.
Jeffrey Archer is suing Curtis Brown as he claims the agency failed to keep documents and did not pay him what he is owed
Lord Archer says the firm failed to keep more than 250 documents relating to literary deals with Pan Macmillan publishers, the Evening Standard reports.
The company ‘entirely rejects’ the claim and will fight the allegations in the High Court. Former MP Lord Archer signed Curtis Brown up to work for him in 2002.
The Sins of the Father author – who published his first novel back in 1974 – negotiated a deal with the outfit to publish three volumes of his prison diaries written while serving time for perjury.
Some of the best-sellers involved in the legal row include Best Kept Secret and a 30th anniversary edition of 2009’s Kane And Abel.
Lord Archer (pictured in 2019) says the firm failed to keep more than 250 documents relating to literary deals with Pan Macmillan publishers, the Evening Standard reports
Representing Lord Archer, James Ramsden QC said his client first discovered a problem in 2018.
He had asked Mitchell Rights Management (MRM) to run a ‘reconciliation exercise’ to check he had received all the money he was owed.
Mr Ramsden said: ‘It was not possible to complete that exercise because in excess of 250 documents including royalty statements are missing and were apparently never obtained.’
He told the court that an audit has found ‘underpayments’ of ‘£538,486 since 2002, plus interest of over £250,000’.
The life peer accuses Curtis Brown of not delivering advances and royalties from his works. Pictured: Two of Jeffrey Archer’s novels
Lord Archer (pictured in 2000) quit the agency over the dispute, he said, and went to MRM for representation instead
The court hear that Curtis Brown committed a ‘breach of duty’ because of ‘its apparent failure to retain documents relating to (Lord Archer) and failure to complete regular conciliation exercises has led to underpayments’.
Lord Archer quit the agency over the dispute, he said, and went to MRM for representation instead.
The peer claims that he never agreed a formal written agreement with Curtis Brown following their talks in 2002/
But he said it was understood the agency would handle finances and take ‘a sum equal to 10 per cent’.
Jeffrey, pictured with his wife Mary, is battling his former agent in the High Court over hundreds of thousands he claims is owed him
Jonathan Lloyd, who is the president of Curtis Brown, is accused of asking Pan Macmillan for commission money in November last year.
He is adamant that he did no such thing and a Curtis Brown spokesman said the agency is disappointed.
He claimed that they worked very hard for the writer over their 17 years of a ‘successful relationship’. The agency, he added, ‘entirely reject this claim’.
Lord Archer is suing to recover £538,486 in alleged underpayments plus interest and damages for the claimed breach of duty.
Additionally, he is seeking a court declaration that his deal with Curtis Brown was legally ended in March 2019.